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Bionor Pharma Surges After HIV Drug Study Progress: Oslo Mover

Bionor Pharma ASA, a Norwegian developer of experimental HIV treatments, rose to a seven-month high in Oslo after completing part of a clinical study.

Bionor jumped 9.8 percent to 3.47 kroner, the highest closing price since Nov. 9 in the biggest gain today on the Oslo Stock Exchange Benchmark Index. Volume was more than seven times the three-month daily average.

Bionor Pharma completed the first part of a mid-stage study for its Vacc-4x HIV vaccine in combination with Celgene Corp.’s best-selling Revlimid drug, the Oslo-based company said in a statement today. The study is investigating whether Revlimid, or lenalidomide, enhances the effect of Vacc-4x.

“This particular study is in a subset of patients where you have a low amount of CD4 cells, which mean they have a low or disqualified immune system,” Chief Executive Officer Anker Lundemose said by phone from Oslo. The study is to determine whether the use of Vacc-4x can be expanded to patients that have a very low CD4 number, he said.

The first part of the study was designed to determine the highest tolerated dose among three lenalidomide doses. All doses were well tolerated, and the highest has been chosen for the second part of the study, Bionor said.

Bionor Pharma is seeking to divest its nutrition-supplement operations to focus on vaccines for viral infections. Its Vacc-4x and Vacc-C5 HIV vaccines are currently undergoing clinical trials.

Celgene’s Revlimid won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on June 5 for wider use in patients with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called mantle cell lymphoma that starts in white blood cells.

Bionor Pharma is scheduled to hold its capital markets day in Oslo tomorrow.

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