Hana Biosciences halts development of oral spray

March 23 Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:59am EDT

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March 23 (Reuters) - Hana Biosciences HNAB.O said it will stop development of the original formulation of its Zensana oral spray, which the company had hoped would be approved as a treatment for nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

In a press release, the company said it will withdraw the new drug application it had submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, "without prejudice," which means the company can reapply.

Hana said its partner, specialty pharmaceutical company NovaDel Pharma Inc. NVD.A, has developed another formulation of the product, which the companies are evaluating.

Hana also said it was not pursuing a special protocol assessment with the FDA for its experimental leukemia treatment, Marqibo, which was granted an orphan drug status in January.

Hana said it plans to start late-stage trials for the injection in 2007.

The company also suspended enrollment in a mid-stage trial of its cancer treatment Talvesta. It said the resumption of clinical trials depends on the results of toxicology studies, sighted by the end of 2007.

Shares of Hana closed at $3.72 Thursday on the Nasdaq, while those of NovaDel closed at $1.40 on the American Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Varsha Tickoo in Bangalore)

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