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Ariad: FDA doing priority review of leukemia drug

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will do a speedier review of its experimental leukemia drug, ponatinib.

The FDA is doing a priority review, which means it will take six months rather than the standard 10 for reviewing potential medicines. The agency expects to decide whether to approve the drug by March 27, 2013.

Ponatinib is designed to treat patients with treatment-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia and patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a type of chromosome abnormality.

Ariad, based in Cambridge, Mass., focuses on developing drugs for tough-to-treat cancers.

Shares dropped 28 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $22.02 in afternoon trading.