Puma Biotech Gains After Rival Drug Data Show No Threat

Puma Biotechnology Inc., the maker of an experimental cancer drug, had its biggest two-day gain in seven months after data on a competitor medicine did nothing to diminish analysts’ expectations.

Puma gained 7.4 percent to $37.36 at 4:01 p.m. New York time, and has increased 17 percent in the last two days, the most since October. The shares of the Los Angeles-based biotechnology company have risen 99 percent this year.

Puma will start late-stage testing in the second quarter of its experimental breast-cancer drug neratinib and also is studying the therapy in non-small cell lung cancer, the company said in a May 9 statement. Chief Executive Officer Alan H. Auerbach sold his previous company, Cougar Biotechnology Inc., for about $1 billion to Johnson & Johnson before gaining approval of a prostate cancer medicine.

Today’s gain follows an increase of 8.5 percent yesterday after data from the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting were released May 15 after the markets closed. Results on GlaxoSmithKline Plc’s Tykerb, a potential competitor if Puma’s neratinib gains regulatory approval, were among the study abstracts released for the cancer meeting, which begins May 31 in Chicago.

“Tykerb data keeps neratinib prospects in neoadjuvant breast cancer setting at status quo,” Joel Sendek, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., wrote in a research note. “We continue to view neratinib as more active than Tykerb.”

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