Celegene rises on drug study victory
The company's Abraxane delays tumor growth in patients with advanced melanoma.
Celgene (CELG) said Tuesday that a late-stage study of its cancer drug Abraxane met its primary endpoint of delaying the growth of tumors in patients with advanced melanoma.
The impact of the positive results from the phase 3 study is unclear at this time, however, because Celgene did not say whether patients treated with Abraxane lived longer. New therapies for melanoma such as Bristol-Myers Squibb's (BMY) Yervoy and Roche's (RHHBY) Zelboraf were both approved on the basis of improving overall survival.
Celgene shares were up $1.22, or 1.5%, to $78 in early Tuesday trading.
The phase III study enrolled patients with metastatic melanoma who had no previous treatment with chemotherapy. The patients were randomized to receive treatment with Abraxane, a reformulation of the old chemotherapy drug paclitaxel, or DTIC, another older chemotherapy often used to treat melanoma.
Patients treated with Abraxane lived longer without their melanoma progressing compared to patients treated with DTIC, Celegene said. The result was statistically significant although details were withheld for presentation at a later medical meeting.
The study was designed to measure if Abraxane could improve overall survival compared to DTIC but these data may not be ready yet.
Abraxane is already approved to treat advanced breast cancer and is under FDA review for non-small cell lung cancer with an expected approval decision on Oct. 12.
Celgene is also conducting a phase III study of Abraxane in pancreatic cancer with results expected later this quarter. The pancreatic cancer study was the subject of much positive chatter at a cancer research conference in Europe this weekend.
The value of Abraxane is also tied to a publicly traded Celgene contingent value (CELGZ) right established when Celgene bought the drug's inventor Abraxis BioScience in 2010.
More from TheStreet.com
MORE ON MSN MONEY
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Quotes are real-time for NASDAQ, NYSE and AMEX. See delay times for other exchanges.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Thomson Reuters (click for restrictions). Real-time quotes provided by BATS Exchange. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Interactive Data Real-Time Services. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by SIX Financial Information.
SodaStream is downgraded to 'neutral,' and Monster Beverage is initiated with an 'outperform.'
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.