US FDA puts Gilead Sciences blood cancer drug studies on hold

(Reuters) -Gilead Sciences said on Monday the U.S. health regulator placed a clinical hold on studies of its blood cancer drug, just a month after the company scrapped a late-stage trial due to efficacy concerns.

The company gained access to the drug, magrolimab, with its $4.9 billion buyout of Forty Seven Inc in March 2020.

The company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had paused screening and enrollment of new study participants, while the patients already under the studies may continue to receive treatment.

Studies of magrolimab in solid tumors also to continue without any impact from the FDA action, said the company.

The company was studying the drug in combination with a type of chemotherapy called azacitidine for the treatment of patients with a higher risk of myelodysplastic syndromes — a rare group of bone marrow failure disorders.

(Reporting by Khushi Mandowara in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)