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BioMarin Gains on Prospects for Experimental Cancer Drug

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., a maker of drugs for rare diseases, rose the most in more than six months ahead of a medical conference where the company plans to publish data on its experimental cancer therapy.

BioMarin gained 2.5 percent to $66.59 at 2:05 p.m. in New York, after jumping 7.4 percent earlier, its largest intraday increase since Nov. 15. The Novato, California-based company had increased 32 percent this year through yesterday.

BioMarin said it will update clinical trial results for BMN-673, currently being tested in patients with breast, ovarian, Ewing’s sarcoma and small cell lung cancers, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s meeting starting May 31 in Chicago. That data will “vindicate” the drug, Ying Huang, an analyst with Barclays Plc in New York, wrote today in a note to clients.

The drug is a so-called PARP inhibitor. PARP, or poly ADP ribose polymerase, is an enzyme used by the body to repair broken DNA that can also be used by cancer cells to survive. By inhibiting PARP, BioMarin aims to stop cancer’s spread.

While the company is competing with AstraZeneca Plc, Clovis Oncology Inc. and Tesaro Inc. to develop and bring a PARP inhibitor to the market, Huang said BioMarin’s version will be more effective.

“Although from a developmental timeline BMN-673 is behind AstraZeneca’s olaparib and roughly in-line with Tesaro and Clovis, we believe its superior potency will allow BMN-673 to prevail as a best-in-class PARP inhibitor,” he wrote.

Huang expects BioMarin’s therapy to be sold in the U.S. in 2016, and reach $600 million in revenue for use against breast cancer.

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