(Bloomberg) -- Novartis AG said a late-stage trial of experimental lung-cancer drug canakinumab failed, likely the last blow for a repurposed medicine that had already failed in one lung cancer study last year. 

Canakinumab, which is used to treat a type of arthritis in children, didn’t help lung-cancer patients live longer without disease after surgery than placebo, the Basel, Switzerland-based drugmaker said Monday. Last year, the drug failed when paired with immune therapy and chemotherapy in a different group of patients. 

The Monday trial was more similar to a smaller previous study that had been successful, the basis for hopes that the drug could help cancer patients. After the earlier trial failure, Novartis executives said it was important to wait for these results to see the true potential of the medicine. 

The shares were little changed in Zurich. 

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