July 8, 2014 / 1:30 PM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 1-Boehringer cancer drug effective in mid-stage trial

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July 8 (Reuters) - German drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim said its experimental blood cancer drug met its main goal in a mid-stage trial and improved overall survival rate among patients.

Data showed the cancer was absent in 31 percent of patients after being treated with the drug volasertib along with a chemotherapy agent versus 13.3 percent of patients who were administered the chemotherapy alone.

Patients treated with the drug also had a median overall survival of 8 months versus 5.2 months for patients treated with the chemotherapy.

The drug was studied in 87 older patients with untreated acute myeloid leukemia, a type of blood cancer.

Acute myeloid leukemia is an aggressive type of blood cancer that mainly affects older people.

The drug was granted orphan drug status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Commission in April.

Orphan drug designation is awarded to drugs intended to treat rare conditions that have limited treatment options. (Reporting by Shailesh Kuber; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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