Biotech of the Week: Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA  ) is the biotech of the week on the Fool's weekly biotech-focused show, Biotech Banter.

Shares of the biotech have been on a bit of a roller coaster over the last year as investors went from having high hopes for Ariad Pharmaceutical's leukemia drug Iclusig to seeing the drug getting pulled from the market because the drug is linked to blood clots. After returning to the market, Ariad's shares have more than doubled off their lows, but are still well off of where they were when investors thought Iclusig could compete with Novartis' (NYSE: NVS  ) Gleevec and Bristol-Myers Squibb's (NYSE: BMY  ) Sprycel as first-line treatments.

For now Iclusig is stuck as a treatment of last resort, mostly used on patients that can't take or have failed Novartis' and Bristol-Myers Squibb's drugs, but there's potential to increase sales if Ariad Pharmaceuticals can show that the risk-benefit profile is better at lower doses. Blood thinners might also help lower the risk of blood clots.

As senior biotech specialist Brian Orelli and health-care analyst David Williamson discuss in the video below, there's also potential for the drug to work in patients with solid tumors who might not have to take the drug for as long.

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