J&J to pull the plug on hypertension drug study

FILE PHOTO: The company logo for Johnson & Johnson is displayed on a screen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the company's listing at the NYSE in New York

(Reuters) - Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday it has decided to stop a late-stage study testing its experimental drug to treat a type of hypertension.

The study was testing the drug candidate, macitentan, in patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, which is caused by abnormally high pressure in small blood vessels in the lungs.

The decision followed an independent data monitoring committee recommendation after a pre-planned interim analysis, the company said.

The study was deemed "futile" and failed to improve exercise capacity in a broad population including inoperable patients compared to a placebo, J&J said.

The company said the interim results do not impact any of its commercialized pulmonary hypertension medicines.

(Reporting by Mariam Sunny in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Sriraj Kalluvila)