GSK, Pfizer and other pharmaceutical companies are urging a judge in Delaware this week to find that evidence plaintiffs’ lawyers want to use in about 72,000 lawsuits claiming that the discontinued heartburn drug Zantac caused cancer is not supported by science.

If they are successful, that could end much of the long-running litigation over the drug and greatly reduce the risk of hefty damage awards or settlements, which has weighed on companies’ shares in recent years.

Mark Cheffo, a lawyer for GSK, told Judge Vivian

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