Astex Pharma (ASTX) Higher Following Positive Decitabine Treatment for Neuroblastoma

December 27, 2012 12:18 PM EST
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Astex Pharma (Nasdaq: ASTX) is higher on volume today following a publication in the American Academy of Pediatrics offical journal earlier in the week highlighting the effectiveness of decitabine (trade name Dacogen) in relapsed neuroblastoma.

The following is an abstract from the study, which can be found here. (Note: emphasis is ours.)

"Patients with relapsed stage 4 neuroblastoma have an extremely poor long-term prognosis, making the investigation of new agents of interest. We report the outcome of the first patient treated in a phase 1 study for relapsed neuroblastoma, using the chemotherapy agent decitabine to upregulate cancer testis antigen expression, followed by a dendritic cell vaccine targeting the cancer testis antigens MAGE-A1, MAGE-A3, and NY-ESO-1. Our patient had persistent tumor in his bone marrow after completion of standard therapy for neuroblastoma, including multiagent chemotherapy, tumor resection, stem cell transplantation, radiation therapy, and anti-GD2 monoclonal antibodies. His marrow disease persisted despite chemotherapy, which was given while the vaccine was being produced. After 3 cycles of decitabine and vaccine, this patient achieved a complete remission and is now 1 year from his last treatment, with no evidence of tumor in his bone marrow or other sites. This patient was noted to have an increase in MAGE-A3–specific T cells. This is the first report combining demethylating chemotherapy to enhance tumor antigen expression followed by a cancer antigen vaccine."

Shares are up about 4 percent on the session.

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