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Lilly ends one trial of rheumatoid arthritis drug

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Eli Lilly & Co. said Thursday that it stopped one late-stage trial of its experimental drug tabalumab as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

Lilly said it ended the trial because an interim analysis showed the drug was not working. It said the move was not based on safety concerns.

Two other late-stage trials of the drug are continuing, as are other, smaller studies. However Lilly said it won't enroll any new patients in trials of the drug until it completes analysis from other studies in early 2013.

The study was designed to evaluate tabalumab as a treatment for moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis in patients who were not helped by the drug methotrexate. Lilly said it will take a charge of 2 cents per share in the fourth quarter as a result of the stoppage.

Shares of Eli Lilly lost 67 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $48.33 in midday trading. Its shares have traded in a 52-week range of $38.30 to $53.99.