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Amgen says ovarian cancer drug met study goal

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) -- Biotech drugmaker Amgen Inc. reported Wednesday that its experimental drug for ovarian cancer helped patients live 1.8 months longer without their disease spreading, compared with patients getting placebo. The difference was large enough to meet the study's primary goal.

Amgen is studying its drug trebananib in combination with paclitaxel to treat recurring ovarian cancer. The National Cancer Institute expects 22,240 new cases and over 14,000 deaths in connection with ovarian cancer this year.

Amgen's study of its drug showed patients generally lived 7.2 months without their disease progressing, compared with 5.4 months for patients not taking the drug.

The study involved 900 women who were randomly assigned to receive trebananib plus paclitaxel or a placebo plus paclitaxel.

Amgen said it will report the difference in overall survival between the two groups in 2014.

The company's study is the first of three designed to evaluate trebananib's safety and effectiveness for ovarian cancer.

Shares of Amgen Inc. fell $1.57, to $96.36 in midday trading. The stock has traded between $67.64 and $114.95 in the past 52 weeks, and is up about 12 percent since the start of the year.