April 29, 2011 / 7:13 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Zeltia says J&J withdraws cancer drug petition

MADRID, April 29 (Reuters) - Spanish drug company Zeltia ZEL.MC said on Friday U.S. group Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) had withdrawn its petition to the Federal Drug Administration to authorise the use of Yondelis in combination with Doxil.

The Spanish group said J&J had dropped its request to combine Yondelis, a drug made by Zeltia affiliate Pharma Mar, with J&J’s Doxil for the treatment of ovarian cancer in remission after the FDA had recommended an additional test phase before approval.

Zeltia said the decision, taken by J&J’s affiliate Centocar Ortho Biotech Products, would not stop the future presentation of a new drug, including additional test data, to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) June 5.

The announcement could be taken as a further setback for Zeltia after Australia’s APCM decided in November not to recommend Yondelis for soft tissue sarcoma and ovarian cancer.

According to a report, the health risks posed by the drug outweigh its potential effectiveness. (Reporting by Paul Day, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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