Federal regulators have granted priority review to a closely watched leukemia drug candidate developed by Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., promising to decide by March 27 whether the Cambridge company can start selling the treatment. Priority review is typically extended to medicines that work better than existing treatments, or are effective in patients who haven’t responded to drugs already on the market. Ariad’s drug, called ponatinib, will compete with several leukemia treatments now available.
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