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Spectrum rises as FDA starts lymphoma drug review

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals rose Thursday after the company said the Food and Drug Administration will conduct a fast review of its lymphoma drug Beleodaq.

THE SPARK: Spectrum said the FDA will conduct a six-month priority review, meaning the agency is scheduled to make a decision by Aug. 9. The Henderson, Nev., company wants to market Beleodaq as a treatment for T-cell lymphoma that has returned after previous treatment or which hasn't responded to treatment with other drugs.

THE BIG PICTURE: Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc. is positioning itself to deal with falling sales of its biggest drug, Fusilev. In July the company bought Talon Therapeutics to gain the company's leukemia drug Marqibo, and it began selling Marqibo in September. Spectrum also licensed an experimental multiple myeloma treatment from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc.

The company has three approved drugs. Fusilev is used to treat the side effects of a chemotherapy drug called methotrexate, while Folotyn treats peripheral T-cell lymphoma and Marqibo is approved to treat recurrences of a rare type of adult leukemia. Spectrum is running additional studies to try to win a broader marketing approval.

Over the first three quarters the company's revenue fell 42 percent to $114.3 million.

SHARE ACTION: Spectrum Pharmaceuticals shares rose 25 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $8.04 in afternoon trading. Earlier the stock gained as much as 7.7 percent to $8.39.

The shares have fallen 23.9 percent since Jan. 23.