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EU agency starts in-depth review of Ariad leukaemia drug

LONDON (Reuters) - European regulators have started an in-depth review of the benefits and risks of Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc's leukaemia medicine Iclusig.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday the probe would look particularly at the risk of blood clots or blockages in the arteries or veins associated with the medicine.

Last month, the EMA reviewed the latest evidence about the drug and recommended continued use of Iclusig, though with a number of restrictions to help minimize risks.

That contrasts to the situation in the United States, where the drug has been suspended due to safety concerns.

Explaining the decision to launch the latest review, the EMA said a number of issues required further investigation and this had prompted the European Commission to ask for a further in-depth look at the drug.

(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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