NEW YORK (Reuters) – An experimental medicine from Dendreon Corp improved survival in men with advanced forms of prostate cancer, the company said on Tuesday, bolstering chances of it becoming the first approved therapeutic vaccine for any type of cancer.
Shares of Dendreon (DNDN.O) more than tripled in heavy morning trading to as high as $22.10 as the study results suggested a revolutionary form of therapy is on the horizon for one of the most common cancers. Unlike traditional vaccines that prevent disease, the company’s Provenge medicine treats it.
“If you’re in late stages of prostate cancer and your doctor says, ‘You’ll have no side effects with this drug and it will probably extend your life,’ who’s not going to take it?” said Sven Borho, an analyst with OrbiMed Advisors.
The Phase III clinical trial met the main study goal of improving survival, prompting Dendreon to say it will seek U.S. regulatory approval of Provenge in the fourth quarter.
“The successful outcome from the Phase 3 IMPACT study provides validation of the long-pursued goal of harnessing the human immune system against a patient’s own cancer,” Dendreon Chief Executive Mitchell Gold said in a statement.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men other than skin cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. About one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime.
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