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Originally published Monday, September 28, 2009 at 7:06 AM

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ZymoGenetics partner ends multiple sclerosis testing

ZymoGenetics said Merck Serono has discontinued mid-stage studies of the Seattle company's drug atacicept in multiple sclerosis, after one study showed patients did worse with the treatment than without it.

Seattle Times business staff

ZymoGenetics said Merck Serono has discontinued mid-stage studies of the Seattle company's drug atacicept in multiple sclerosis, after one study showed patients did worse with the treatment than without it.

Two ongoing studies of the drug, one in rheumatoid arthritis and one in systemic lupus erythematosus, are continuing, ZymoGenetics said.

Earlier this month the company said the rheumatoid arthritis studies, also done by licensee Merck Serono, did not meet goals that would automatically have advanced the drug to late-stage clinical trials.

ZymoGenetics shares ended the day at $6.25, up 10 cents or 1.6 percent, tracking the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index's 1.5 percent rise.

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