November 20, 2015 / 10:32 PM / 4 years ago

NovoCure's cancer therapy effective in late-stage study

(Reuters) - NovoCure Ltd said its lead cancer therapy improved survival rate in brain cancer patients in combination with Avastin in a late-stage study, sending its shares up 23 percent in extended trading.

NovoCure’s therapy, Optune, which was evaluated in combination with Roche Holding AG’s cancer drug, reduced the risk of death by 39 percent in patients, compared with patients treated with Avastin alone, Novocure said in a statement on Friday.

Optune is an FDA-approved device for use in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor in which 90 percent of adult patients die within 24 months after the diagnosis.

The portable, non-invasive device uses low-intensity electric fields to slow and even reverse tumor growth and destroy the cancer cells.

Optune in combination with Merck & Co Inc's chemotherapy drug, temozolomide, was approved by the FDA in October to treat adult patients. (bit.ly/1FS2rgj)

Novocure, which went public in October, said it plans to present the data from the study at the 20th Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

The company’s shares closed down 1.6 percent at $22.04 on the Nasdaq on Friday.

Reporting by Rosmi Shaji in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian

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