New data backs Algeta cancer drug licensed to Bayer

* Three Phase II studies endorse potential of Alpharadin

* Algeta drug recently licensed to Bayer in $800 mln deal

BERLIN, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Results from three mid-stage clinical trials were unveiled at Europe's top cancer congress on Tuesday, underscoring the potential of Norwegian biotech company Algeta's ALGETA.OL experimental cancer drug Alpharadin.

Preliminary results of the studies had been announced previously but Andrew Kay, the company’s chief executive, said the follow-up data at the ECCO-ESMO meeting in Berlin reinforced confidence in the medicine.

The new drug is designed to treat bone metastases, where cancer has moved into patients’ bones, and the studies showed it reduced pain and improved outcomes.

Algeta clinched a licensing deal potentially worth $800 million for Alpharadin with Bayer BAYG.DE on Sept. 3, sending its shares soaring.

Algeta expects peak annual global sales of up to $1.9 billion for Alpharadin, which clings to cancerous bone cells because it has some properties of calcium and destroys them via alpha rays.

The partnering deal was the latest move by Bayer to expand its range of oncology drugs, currently dominated by kidney cancer drug Nexavar.

Development of Alpharadin, which is administered via injection, is most advanced in targeting bone metastases from prostate cancer that cannot be treated by standard hormone therapy.

The drug is currently being explored in a Phase III clinical trial, with first results of this late-stage study expected in late 2011. (Reporting by Ben Hirschler, Editing Lin Noueihed)