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AbbVie Suspends Five Clinical Trials of Leukemia Therapy

AbbVie Inc., the drug company that split off from Abbott Laboratories at the start of the year, suspended five studies on its experimental leukemia and lymphoma medicine after two patient deaths.

The patients died from tumor lysis syndrome, said Tracy Sorrentino, a spokeswoman for North Chicago, Illinois-based AbbVie. The complication stems from the rapid destruction of malignant cells after treatment that can trigger acute kidney failure. It occurs most often with large tumors such as those found in leukemia and lymphoma patients, according to the National Institutes of Health.