March 7 Northwest Biotherapeutics Inc
on Friday said an independent monitoring board had recommended
that a late-stage study of its experimental brain-cancer
treatment be continued, based on an interim safety review.
The study involves more than 300 patients newly diagnosed
with Glioblastoma multiforme, the most serious form of brain
cancer. The main goal of the trial is to determine if the
medicine, DCVax-L, can delay progression of the disease when
taken on top of standard treatment.
Shares of Northwest Biotherapeutics rose 12 percent in
premarket trading, from their closing price on Thursday of $5.96
on the Nasdaq.
It is a so-called immuno-oncology drug, meaning it spurs the
body's own immune system to identify and kill cancer cells.
Specifically, it harnesses dendritic cells, master cells of the
immune system that give instructions to t-cells and b-cells,
which make antibodies.
The drug consists of an individual patient's immature
dendritic cells, which are drawn from the blood and exposed in a
laboratory dish to antigens, or proteins, from brain tumor
tissue of the patient obtained in surgery.