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Ariad says 325 patients treated with leukemia drug

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) -- Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Thursday that more than 325 patients have been treated with its drug Iclusig in the three months the leukemia pill has been on the market.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Iclusig, Ariad's first approved drug, as a treatment for a type of leukemia in December, and Ariad said the drug has been on the market for 12 weeks. It said more than 325 patients are being treated with commercially obtained Iclusig. That does not include patients who obtained the drug through free programs.

Ariad believes European Union regulators will approve Iclusig during the second quarter, and by July 1 it will be prepared to launch the drug in Europe. It will file for marketing approval in Canada, Australia, and Switzerland in the third quarter, and expects to report data from an interim analysis that compares Iclusig to Novartis AG's drug Gleevec in mid-2014.

Iclusig was approved for use against treatment-resistant chronic myeloid leukemia and for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia with a type of chromosome abnormality.

Ariad rose 45 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $17.21 in afternoon trading.