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Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (ARIA - Snapshot Report) recently presented pre-clinical data on AP26113. The data presented by the company revealed that AP26113 can inhibit clinically relevant anaplastic lymphoba kinase (ALK) mutants resistant to Pfizer Inc.’s (PFE - Analyst Report) Xalkori (crizotinib) and oncogenic repressor of silencing-1(ROS1) fusions in patients suffering from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Ariad expects to begin enrollment for a pivotal study on AP26113 in ALK-positive NSCLC patients resistant to Xalkori, in the third quarter of 2013.

In Sep 2012, Ariad had announced initial clinical results from a phase I/II study on AP26113. The study is being conducted to determine the maximum tolerated dose as well as the recommended dose for conducting additional studies on the candidate. Moreover, safety issues and preliminary anti-tumor activity are also being evaluated. The safety data from the study revealed that candidate was well-tolerated.

The company anticipates to move into four phase II expansion cohorts in the second quarter of 2013. One study is designated for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-mutant NSCLC patients.

The company also has plans to evaluate AP26113 for ALK positive NSCLC patients with brain metastases.

We remind investors that companies like Roche Holding AG (RHHBY - Analyst Report) have a presence in the NSCLC market. In Sep 2011, Tarceva received approval from the European Commission for the treatment of a specific type of NSCLC in Europe.

Currently, Ariad carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Comparatively, other companies like UCB (UCBJF) look more attractive. UCB carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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