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Feb. 18, 2008, 8:19 a.m. EST

Japan's Takeda to discontinue development of cancer drug Matuzumab

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TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. (4502.TO) said Monday it has decided, together with Merck KGaA , to discontinue joint development of Merck's cancer drug EMD72000, also known as matuzumab.

The Tokyo-based drug maker said in a statement that matuzumab couldn't meet its predefined clinical goals in phase-2 testing in colorectal, gastric and non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Matuzumab is an antibody discovered by Merck. Takeda and the German drug maker agreed to jointly develop the drug in the U.S. and Japan, along with several Asian and European countries in September 2005.

-By Kazuhiro Shimamura, Dow Jones Newswires; 813-5255-2929; kazuhiro.shimamura@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 18, 2008 01:54 ET (06:54 GMT)

-Contact: 201-938-5400

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