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Antigenics' Oncophage Given Orphan Drug Status By FDA

Wed, 04/29/2009 - 9:31am
NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of biotechnology company Antigenics Inc. rose Wednesday after the company said its drug Oncophage was given special status by the Food and Drug Administration for brain cancer. The FDA granted orphan drug status to Oncophage as a brain cancer treatment, allowing up to 7 years of market exclusivity if approved for the indication, along with fee waivers and tax credits. The drug has similar designations for kidney cancer and metastatic melanoma indications. The drug is not yet approved in the U.S. The stock rose 9 cents, or 13.6 percent, to 75 cents in midday trading. Shares of the Lexington, Mass.-based company have traded between 19 cents and $2.39 per share over the last 52 weeks. Orphan drug designation aims to encourage the development of drugs involved in the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of a medical condition affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S.

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