Genmab Rises After FDA Grants Breakthrough Status to Cancer Drug

Genmab A/S (GEN) rose the most in almost two months in Copenhagen trading after U.S. regulators granted “breakthrough therapy” designation to an experimental cancer drug the Danish company is developing with Johnson & Johnson. (JNJ)

Genmab surged as much as 10 percent, the most since March 8. The stock advanced 9.7 percent to 158.5 kroner as of 11:02 a.m. in the Danish capital.

Genmab’s daratumumab is being developed to treat multiple myeloma, a type of cancer that starts in the plasma cells in bone marrow. The designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, announced late yesterday, may speed up the market introduction of the treatment to 2015 from 2017, Michael Novod, an analyst with Nordea in Copenhagen, said in a note today.

Breakthrough therapy is “the strongest possible designation the FDA can award to highlight an unmet medical need and potentially speed up development times considerably,” Novod said. “Furthermore, we expect it to massively increase awareness about the project.”

The market for multiple myeloma is “set to grow rapidly,” approaching $9 billion in 2020 amid better diagnosis and treatment of the disease, Novod said in March.

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