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BioSante cites positive GVAX study, shares rise

Thu, 03/11/2010 - 8:17am
The Associated Press

BioSante Pharmaceuticals said Thursday that its GVAX cancer treatment led to a reduction of cancer cells in leukemia patients who had been taking the cancer drug Gleevec for at least one year.

In the study at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, GVAX was given to 19 leukemia patients on Gleevec who had measurable cancer cells after at least one year. Cancer cells were reduced in 13 patients after a median of 72 months of follow-up. Patients remained on a stable dose of Gleevec.

The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Shares of BioSante Pharmaceuticals Inc. jumped 19 cents, or 11.11 percent, to $1.90 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded between $1.13 and $2.70 over the last 52 weeks.

In October, BioSante completed its all-stock buyout valued at $38 million of Cell Genesys Inc., acquiring GVAX and other potential drugs in the process. Cell Genesys was developing GVAX as prostate cancer treatment, but discontinued testing as one trial was likely to fail and another had a high rate of patient deaths.

BioSante had said it would focus on pancreatic cancer, leukemia and breast cancer as potential indications for the drug.

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