WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) -- Shares of ImmunoGen Inc. surged Thursday after the company said a potential breast cancer treatment met key goals in a midstage study.
The stock jumped $2.08, or 22.4 percent, to $11.38 in afternoon trading. Shares earlier reached a $12.03, their highest point in nearly a decade.
The biotechnology company is developing T-DM1 with Swiss drugmaker Roche. The drug candidate is composed of the breast cancer drug trastuzumab, which is marketed as Herceptin by Roche's Genentech, and a cell-killing agent developed by ImmunoGen.
The latest results show that patients treated with T-DM1 had a significant improvement in progression-free survival compared with patients treated with only Herceptin and chemotherapy. The study involves 137 patients and focused on the drug candidate as an initial treatment for breast cancer.
Progression-free survival is used to measure the amount of time a person with a condition survives without that condition progressing.
"This top-line information about T-DM1's performance in the first-line setting is very encouraging and adds to the favorable efficacy and safety data reported across a number of T-DM1 studies," said ImmunoGen President and CEO Daniel Junius, in a statement.
The drug is currently in late-stage testing as both an initial and secondary treatment for breast cancer.
In August, the Food and Drug Administration denied the companies' request for accelerated approval of the drug candidate as a third-line treatment, sending ImmunoGen shares plummeting. The agency said the drug candidate failed to meet the standard for accelerated approval. The agency reviews a limited number of drugs for accelerated approval status, usually for limited release, to treat serious illnesses with few or no other options.