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Celgene reports results for arthritis drug

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Celgene Corp. said Wednesday a one-year study of its experimental drug for psoriatic arthritis showed "meaningful improvements" in patients' symptoms.

Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis that causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling in patients with psoriasis.

The company said patients who received the drug apremilast for a year showed higher scores on the American College of Rheumatology's measure of arthritis improvement. Patients taking the 20 milligram dose showed an improvement of 63 percent, while patients taking the 30 milligram treatment showed a 55 percent improvement.

Celgene's Palace 1 trial compared outcomes in 1,500 patients taking apremilast or placebo. All patients had psoriatic arthritis and had previously taken other drugs for the condition. Palace 1 is the first of four randomized studies of the drug being conducted by Celgene.

The drugmaker said there were no serious safety problems among patients studied, such as heart attack, tumors or infections. The most common side effects included nausea, diarrhea and headache.

Shares of Celgene rose $1.03 to $119.78 in Wednesday trading. The stock has changed hands between $58/53 and $131.82 in the past 52 weeks.