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Ahead of the Bell: Infinity Pharma shares plunge

Shares of Infinity Pharmaceuticals plunged 18 percent Monday in premarket trading after the drug developer said it was halting the study of a bone cancer treatment following disappointing results from a mid-stage trial.

The Cambridge, Mass., company said that its saridegib treatment failed to meet its main goal of progression-free survival. That measures the time from the start of treatment until a patient's cancer begins advancing again or the patient dies.

Infinity said saridegib produced results similar to a placebo in a study of patients with an advanced, inoperable form of chondrosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that develops in cartilage cells.

The company also said it would stop a mid-stage trial of the drug in patients with a blood disorder called myelofibrosis, which causes anemia, fatigue, pain and swelling of the spleen. It causes abnormal blood cells to build up in bone marrow, forming thick scar tissue that slows the production of healthy blood cells.

Infinity has no drugs on the market. The portfolio of drugs it is studying includes a potential treatment for a form of lung cancer. Its research is funded through an alliance with Mundipharma International Corp. Ltd.

Shares of Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. sank $2.48, to $11.40 before the opening bell. The stock had been climbing steadily since closing at $6.02 on Feb. 15.

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