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Novo Nordisk halts development of haemophilia drug

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark's Novo Nordisk said on Friday it would discontinue development of its haemophilia drug treatment vatreptacog alfa.

The world's biggest insulin producer said in a statement the development would be discontinued after a few patients in a trial had developed anti-drug antibodies to the treatment, one patient with a potentially neutralising effect.

The drug was intended to replace some of the $1.43 billion annual sales of the company's only other haemophilia drug now on the market - NovoSeven - as it comes off patent.

NovoSeven sales peaked last year as the drug started to come off patent, and Novo Nordisk has said its sales would be flat this year.

The group has four haemophilia drug candidates in late stage three development after discontinuing vatreptacog alfa. It expects to file an application with U.S. and European authorities for haemophilia drug Turoctocog in the fourth quarter of this year.

The company's shares were down 0.2 pct at 1455 GMT, roughly in line with the Copenhagen stock exchange's benchmark index.

(Reporting by Mette Fraende. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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