U.S. Markets close in 3 hrs 28 mins

Eli Lilly stops development of lead heart drug

(Adds details, shares)

Oct 12 (Reuters) - Eli Lilly and Co said it stopped the development of its heart drug, evacetrapib, as the treatment was not found effective enough in a late-stage trial, sending its shares down nearly 10 percent in premarket trading.

The company was testing its lead heart drug as a treatment for heart problems related to atherosclerosis, also known as the hardening of arteries.

Atherosclerosis is a sign of coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart problems among Americans that could lead to heart failure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eli Lilly does not have any other drugs in late-stage studies to treat cardiovascular problems, one of the seven areas that the drugmaker focuses on.

The The Indianapolis, Indiana-based company said it would take a charge of 5 cents per share in its fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Don Sebastian)