June 14, 2010 / 5:08 PM / in 7 years

Lorus to start late-stage trial of leukemia drug in H2

* Says in talks with potential partners on the drug

* Says drug increased overall survival in mid-stage trial

By Aftab Ahmed

BANGALORE, June 14 (Reuters) - Canadian biopharmaceutical company Lorus Therapeutics Inc LOR.TO expects to start the late-stage development of its experimental leukemia drug in the second half of 2010.

The company, which is developing the drug, LOR-2040, for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia, is currently in talks for a potential partnership on the drug, company spokesman Saeid Babaei told Reuters.

However, Babaei declined to name the parties that the company is in discussion with.

Acute myeloid leukemia, a blood-cell cancer in which there is rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells, is the most common type of blood cancer in adults.

Patients receiving LOR-2040 along with chemotherapy in a mid-stage trial showed a median overall survival time of 10.3 months, compared with 5.9 months historically for patients on chemotherapy alone, Babaei said.

Last November, the company said it would move to late-stage trials, following positive Phase 1b and Phase 2 early-stage trials for the LOR-2040 drug. [ID:nN30448074]

Lorus shares, which rose as much as 6 percent in morning trade, were trading down 6 percent at C$2.04 Monday afternoon on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Aftab Ahmed in Bangalore; Editing by Anne Pallivathuckal) (aftab.ahmed@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: aftab.ahmed.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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