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Celsion plans new study of liver cancer drug

NEW YORK (AP) -- Celsion said Monday it wants to start another late-stage clinical trial of its liver cancer drug ThermoDox.

The company said a year ago that ThermoDox did not meet its main goal in a clinical trial because it didn't improve their time to death or disease progression. Celsion said it is still following patients from that trial and said some may be living longer.

ThermoDox is heat-activated and is designed to deliver bigger doses of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin directly to tumors. The trial compared a combination of ThermoDox and radiofrequency ablation, a treatment that uses heat to destroy unhealthy tissue, to radiofrequency ablation alone. Celsion said Monday that patients who received ThermoDox and at least 45 minutes of radiofrequency ablation appeared to live longer.

The Lawrenceville, N.J., company said it has been consulting with regulators and wants to start a new late-stage trial in the first half of 2014. Celsion Corp. does not have any drugs on the market.

Shares of Celsion rose as much as 5.2 percent in early trading Monday, but they were down 7 cents to $3.76 at midday.