A biotech firm you may not have heard of, Puma Biotechnology (PBYI), is having quite a day.
Puma’s stock more than tripled after the company reported that its experimental breast cancer treatment was successful in a late-stage trial. The news is great for patients with the disease and investors in the company.
Puma Biotechnology said their drug, neratinib was given to 2,821 patients with early-stage breast cancer whose tumor growth was fueled by a gene called HER2. These patients already had the breast cancer removed surgically and were then treated with Roche Holding's Herceptin to stop the disease from returning. Results from the neratinib trial revealed that the drug improved disease-free survival by 33% compared to patients who received the placebo.
“We are very pleased with the results,” Puma’s chief executive Alan Auerbarch, said in the statement.
Puma, which is licensing neratinib from Pfizer (PFE) said it would pick up the remaining research and development costs related to the trials, but in exchange it would adjust the royalty payments it owes Pfizer. Puma plans to file for regulatory approval for neratinib with the Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2015.
It is not clear yet what side effects may be linked to the drug.