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Aveo Oncology to end breast cancer study due to low enrollment

(Reuters) - Aveo Oncology said it would end a mid-stage trial testing its lead drug as a treatment for breast cancer, as the company did not have enough patients enrolled in the study.

Aveo, which was developing the drug with Japan's Astellas Pharma Inc, said enrollment in the study had been slower than expected and did not improve despite efforts to recruit more patients.

The company, which cut 62 percent of its workforce last year to focus on developing the drug as a treatment for breast and colon cancers, said in December that it was not likely to succeed in a mid-stage colon cancer study.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected the drug, tivozanib, as a treatment for kidney cancer in June, saying that study results were inconsistent.

The breast cancer study, which began in December 2012, was testing the efficacy of tivozanib in combination with another cancer drug on patients with locally recurrent or metastatic triple negative breast cancer.

Aveo's shares, which fell 78 percent in 2013, closed at $1.77 on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Kirti Pandey)