(Adds detail, shares)
July 1 Agenus Inc said its experimental
cancer vaccine helped brain tumor patients live nearly twice as
long compared with those who received standard of care
The biotechnology company's shares jumped 23 percent to
$3.96 before the bell.
The drug, when given in addition to standard treatment,
extended median overall survival in 50 percent of
newly-diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) patients to two
years in a mid-stage study.
GBM patients, who tend to succumb to the disease within one
year, are usually treated with a combination of radiation and
the chemotherapy drug temozolomide.
Patients on the vaccine also showed a median survival rate
of nearly 18 months without the disease progressing, which is
about two-three times longer than those on traditional therapy,
Agenus said on Tuesday.
The company's Prophage vaccine is derived from the patient's
own surgically removed tumor.
Agenus' lead experimental drug is being developed with
partner GlaxoSmithKline Plc to treat malaria, melanoma
and shingles. The company has also partnered with Pfizer Inc
to test the drug, QS-21, for use in Alzheimer's disease.
The Lexington, Massachusetts-based company's stock closed at
$3.22 on the Nasdaq on Monday.
(Reporting by Natalie Grover in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet
Das and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)