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Novel Amgen virus-vaccine shrinks melanoma tumors

Wednesday - 3/20/2013, 2:58pm  ET

LINDA A. JOHNSON
AP Business Writer

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) -- Shares of drugmaker Amgen Inc. are rising on news its innovative melanoma drug, which uses a virus as a Trojan horse to infiltrate and destroy tumors, shrank far more tumors than a standard treatment in a late-stage test.

The results, released late Tuesday, show there's promise for similar vaccines other companies are developing.

The experimental injected drug made tumors shrink for six months in 16 percent of study participants. That compares with tumor shrinkage in just 2 percent of patients in a control group that received a standard treatment.

Amgen also says its interim analysis indicates the drug, dubbed T-VEC for short, may help patients survive longer. More definitive data are expected soon.

Shares of Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen rose $1.92, or 2.1 percent, to $94.32 in early afternoon trading.


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