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AbbVie stocks drop on results from lung cancer drug

AbbVie Inc. said it will not seek accelerated approval for its cancer drug Rova-T in the U.S. as a third-line treatment for small cell lung cancer.

The company's stock was down 10.98% to $100.10 per share as of 10:28 a.m. ET on March 22.

The decision is based on the results of a phase 2 trial, known as Trinity, in the affected patient population. The North Chicago, Ill.-based biotech company was investigating the treatment's effectiveness in subjects whose cancer was unresponsive to two prior therapies.

In the study, only 29% of patients saw a reduction in their cancer. Patients on the medicine survived, on average, 5.6 months, and the probability of patients alive at 12 months was 17.5%.

The company also observed a "magnitude of effect across multiple parameters in this single-arm study." These effects included fatigue, affecting 38% of patients, and photosensitivity reaction, affecting 36% of study participants.

Although the results of the study are not what the company had desired, it will continue to study the treatment in first-line and second-line settings.

The company is investigating the drug, which is also known as rovalpituzumab tesirine, in those settings in the Meru and Tahoe trials. The phase 3, or late-stage, clinical trials have enrolled patients who either did not receive prior therapy or who did not get better after being treated once.