January 25, 2011 / 1:45 PM / 8 years ago

UPDATE 1-BioSante gets orphan status for skin cancer vaccine

* Fourth orphan drug designation for BioSante

* Shares up 10 pct pre-market

Jan 25 (Reuters) - BioSante Pharmaceuticals Inc BPAX.O said its vaccine to treat skin cancer received orphan drug designation from U.S. health regulators, sending its shares up about 10 percent in pre-market trade.

The orphan drug designation for the melanoma cancer vaccine is the specialty pharmaceutical company’s fourth orphan drug designation for its portfolio of cancer vaccines, BioSante said in a statement.

It has already received orphan drug designations for its vaccines to treat pancreatic cancer, acute myeloid leukemia and chronic myeloid leukemia.

Melanoma is known to be the most serious form of skin cancer.

Orphan drug designation is granted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to drugs that treat a condition affecting less than 200,000 Americans, and gives the drugmaker marketing exclusivity of seven years in the country, upon approval.

Shares of Illinois-based BioSante were up at $2.05 in pre-market trading. They closed at $1.87 on Monday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Rajarshi Basu in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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