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Ariad dips as analyst lowers lung cancer drug view

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. slipped Monday after a Barclays analyst lowered his price target on the shares based on clinical trial data from one of the company's experimental drugs.

THE SPARK: Analyst Ying Huang still rates the shares "Overweight," but he lowered his price target to $25 per share from $29. Huang said he has become less optimistic about the company's lung cancer drug AP2116, saying recent data from an early-stage study "leaves much to be desired." He is no longer assigning any value to the drug as a lung cancer treatment.

THE BIG PICTURE: Ariad makes a leukemia pill called Iclusig. The Food and Drug Administration approved Iclusig in December as a treatment for two types of the disease, and Ariad reported $6.4 million in sales in the first quarter.

Iclusig is approved for use against treatment-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia and for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a type of chromosome abnormality. The Cambridge, Mass., company is also studying the drug as a treatment for other types of cancer and other stages of the disease.

AP2116 is in mid-stage testing as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.

SHARE ACTION: Ariad shares fell 40 cents, or 2 percent, to $18.49 in afternoon trading, after bottoming out at $18.09 earlier in the session. The shares have declined 1.5 percent in 2013, trading between $15.35 and $25.40 over that time.