Cell Genesys Inc.'s shares climbed 32 percent after updated test results showed its experimental drug for prostate cancer improved survival better than previously indicated.
The experimental treatment GVAX increased survival to 35 months rather than 26.2 months, the South San Francisco, California, company said today in a statement. Patients survived 18.9 months when given the standard treatment, Cell Genesys said. The company has no products on the market.
``We continue to hope that GVAX immunotherapy for prostate cancer may some day offer a new treatment option for patients with this disease,'' said Rob Bow, the chief medical officer of the company in the statement.
The stock surged 20 percent March 30 after a U.S. advisory committee recommended approval of a prostate-cancer treatment from Dendreon Corp. (DNDN) If approved, the Dendreon product would be the first to stimulate the body's immune system against tumor cells. The Cell Genesys drug also stimulates the immune system.
The company has accumulated a deficit of $391.8 million since it was founded in Delaware in 1988, according to a March 1 company filing.
Shares of Dendreon, based in Seattle, gained 35 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $14.65 in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. The stock more than tripled in the past week.
Cell Genesys has gained 68 percent this year and has declined 27 percent in the past 12 months.
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