After announcing a series of results from certain trials, shares of oncology company Novocure (NVCR 12.20, +4.10) spike about 50.6% higher.
Specifically, NVCR’s PANOVA and INNOVATE trials (data from which was announced Friday after the close) reported positive results for patients with Advanced Pancreatic and Ovarian Cancers.
Firstly, in NVCR’s second cohort of its phase 2 pilot PANOVA trial studying Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) in combination with nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, median progression free survival in the TTFields-treated group was 12.7 months (compared to 5.5 months in nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine historical controls) and median overall survival was not yet reached. The median overall survival was not reached and the one-year survival rate was 72% (compared to 35% in nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine historical controls). Forty percent of the evaluable tumors had partial responses (compared to 23% with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine alone) and another 47% had stable disease (compared to 27% with nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine alone). Patients reported no serious adverse events related to TTFields.
In NVCR’s phase 2 pilot INNOVATE trial studying Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) in combination with weekly paclitaxel for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer, median progression free survival in the TTFields-treated group was 8.9 months (compared to 3.9 months in paclitaxel alone historical controls) and median overall survival was not yet reached. Median one-year survival was 61%. The median compliance of patients with TTFields in the first 3 months was 77%. Two cases of severe skin irritation due to TTFields were reported. No other serious device-related adverse events were reported.
Looking at this data, it’s not hard to see that NVCR’s INNOVATE trial produced a success rate more than double that of weekly paclitaxel-treated historical controls in patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. Additionally, in NVCR’s PANOVA trial, the progression free survival and one-year survival rate of patients treated with NVCR’s Tumor Treating Fields plus nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine were more than double those of nab-paclitaxel and gemcitabine-treated historical controls.
In other good news, this morning after investors had a few days to mull over the PANOVA and INNOVATE trial data, NVCR announced final results from its phase 3 pivotal EF-14 trial adding Optune to standard temozolomide chemotherapy for the treatment of newly diagnosed glioblastoma (GBM). Landmark analyses show a consistent and maintained improvement in overall survival at two, three, four and five years. Specifically, the two-year survival rate increased from 30% to 43% for patients treated with Optune together with temozolomide versus patients treated with temozolomide alone. The five-year survival rate increased from 5% to 13% for patients treated with Optune together with temozolomide versus patients treated with temozolomide alone. These are the best results reported for newly diagnosed GBM patients in a phase 3 trial to date and represent clinically meaningful increases in landmark survival rates (hazard ratio, 0.63; p<0. 00006).
In all, the positive data is the obvious culprit for the strong buying in the shares today. Into April, NVCR was strong as the stock soared about +18% in the final week of March.