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Endocyte falls on update from cancer drug trial

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Endocyte fell Friday after the company said its cancer drug vintafolide isn't working better than an older drug in a mid-stage clinical trial.

The company said an independent committee believes that patients treated with vintafolide alone won't have greater progression free survival, or time to death or disease progression, than patients treated with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel. The trial also compares a combination of vintafolide and docetaxel to docetaxel alone. The first results from the study are expected in early 2014.

Endocyte Inc. stock dropped 80 cents, or 5.8 percent, to $12.98 in midday trading, after earlier sinking as low as $11.81. The stock has traded between $7.50 and $19 in the past 12 months and is up about 45 percent since the start of the year.

Endocyte doesn't have any approved drugs. European Union regulators are reviewing vintafolide as a treatment for ovarian cancer. Endocyte and its partner Merck & Co. are also studying the drug as a treatment for breast cancer.