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Karolinska Soars to 20-Month High on Study Data: Stockholm Mover

Karolinska Development AB, a Swedish biotech company, jumped to its highest level in 20 months in Stockholm trading after Axelar AB reported positive mid-stage study data for its AXL1717 lung-cancer drug.

The stock rose as much as 16 percent to 33.50 kronor, its highest level since Aug. 1, 2011. Karolinska traded 10 percent higher at 32 kronor at 10:51 a.m. Swedish time, giving the company a market value of 1.55 billion kronor ($239 million).

Axelar, which is part of Karolinska’s portfolio of companies, said the mid-stage study of drug candidate AXL1717 showed efficacy in treatment of non-small cell lung-cancer patients. The company now has sufficient data to continue to develop the drug and reduce the number of patients in the final trial, according to a statement today. Karolinska will seek a partner for the project after the mid-stage study.

“We are in talks with several potential partners,” Karolinska Development Chief Executive Officer Torbjorn Bjerke said in a telephone interview from the U.S. today. “We think the data we presented today is very positive.”

AXL1717 has the potential to become an important part of future treatment options available to clinicians as well as a valuable asset for Karolinska, the company said. It currently has 97 patients enrolled, almost all of the 100 needed for the AXL1717 study, compared with the 140 previously planned.

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