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Novartis: withdraws European application for Xiidra

( - Novartis has withdrawn its European marketing application for Xiidra, a treatment for the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, the European Medicines Agency website said on Friday.

In a letter sent to the European Union, Novartis justifies its decision by its inability to answer questions raised by the agency - which questioned the effectiveness of the drug - in a timely manner.

Novartis acquired Xiidra from the Shire lab last year.

Novartis shares were down 0.8% towards the end of Friday's trading session in Zurich.

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