ImmunoGen Rises on Partner Roche’s Results: Boston Mover

ImmunoGen Inc. climbed 5.6 percent after partner Roche Holding AG said its experimental breast cancer drug significantly extended the lives of patients when compared with standard therapy.

ImmunoGen, a biotechnology company that develops anticancer products, increased to $14.62 at 4 p.m. New York time. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company had risen 32 percent in the 12 months before today.

The treatment, dubbed T-DM1, for people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, combines Basel, Switzerland-based Roche’s Herceptin with ImmunoGen’s technology that helps the treatment carry chemotherapy directly into malignant cells while bypassing healthy ones. The data will be presented at a future medical meeting, Roche said in a statement today.

“The overall survival data basically just wraps everything up very nicely,” Adnan Butt, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets in San Francisco, said in a telephone interview. “The data is a very big validation for their technology.”

The study compared T-DM1 to GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Tykerb approved in 2007 and Genentech’s Xeloda, an oral chemotherapy treatment approved in 1998.

$5 Billion

The treatment may generate more than $5 billion in peak sales, Butt said. ImmunoGen is due royalty payments once the drug reaches the market, he said.

Roche said it submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review. Butt expects FDA clearance by February at the latest.

ImmunoGen would receive $10.5 million upon U.S. approval and $5 million if the European Medicines Agency clears the drug, Barbara Yates, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

Roche presented trial results in June showing T-DM1 delayed tumors longer and with fewer side effects than established therapy. Roche plans to offer the treatment to patients, under certain circumstances, who can’t participate in a trial.

“We look forward to working with regulatory authorities in the hope of bringing another potential treatment option to people with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer,” Hal Barron, chief medical officer and head of global product development for Roche’s Genentech unit, said in a statement today.

There are about 2.5 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S. and about 227,000 new cases in women estimated this year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal. LEARN MORE