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Promising new cancer drug !!!!

Guest Tim'sKathy

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Guest Tim'sKathy

This was in the Boston Herald today...good news about the FDA and approvals too !

Cancer data inspires surge: Oxigene's shares jump 55 percent, leading bio sector

by Jennifer Heldt Powell

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Shares in a small Watertown biotech firm jumped 55 percent yesterday after it reported promising data on its experimental cancer drug and said a well-known cancer research group would work with it to develop the drug.

Oxigene Inc. said the collaboration and the promising research so far could mean that the drug will head to clinical trials sooner than previously expected.

Oxigene said it would work with Cancer Research UK, one of the world's largest cancer research organizations, to finish preclinical studies on its tumor-starving compound, OXi4503.

The drug shuts down the flow of blood to a tumor, ``starving'' it. The compound becomes toxic to the dying tumor and finishes it off, company officials said.

Oxigene shares jumped $1.55 to close at $4.35 yesterday.

Other biotechnology stocks also gained. Analysts said an upcoming meeting of researchers that is expected to generate more positive news lifted the sector.

Oxigene's drug is one of a number of promising treatments that have drawn investor attention, analysts said.

On May 19, Genentech Inc. unexpectedly declared that its experimental colon cancer drug, Avastin, appears to be effective. Genentech shares gained 45 percent that day, and other biotech stocks also rose.

Analysts also pointed to a shift at the federal Food and Drug Administration as a more meaningful development.

Bill Tanner, an analyst with Leerink Swann & Co., said the FDA shift became apparent with the approval of Genzyme Corp.'s Aldurazyme in late April. The agency was unusually vocal about the move, he said.

``You have an FDA that signaled it's going to be more lenient in the approval of drugs to treat life-threatening disorders,'' Tanner said. ``They realize it's probably not in patients' best interest for things to get bogged down.''


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