Bear Stearns upgraded the Onyx shares to "outperform" from "peer perform" and raised the price target to $40. Analyst Akhtar Samad said in a note sent to clients that results of the trial made him more confident Nexavar will become the "standard of care" in hepatocellular carcinoma, a form of liver cancer and fifth most common type of cancer overall.
Biotech giant Genentech reported new data for cancer drug Avastin below expectations, sending shares down 1.95%. Avastin failed to show an overall survival benefit in colon cancer patients taking the drug along with the most commonly used chemotherapy, according to a clinical trial known as AVAiL. "Data from the AVAiL trial were disappointing in terms of Avastin's activity, and will likely drive physicians to the lower dose of the drug over time," said Bret Holley, an analyst with CIBC World Markets.
Pfizer reported promising resutls for experimental pancreatic cancer treatment axitinib. The world's largest drugmaker said data from an early Phase II trial was strong enough to warrant further studies.
Celgene shares fell slightly after the biotech firm announced new data for Revlimid in first-line multiple myeloma in line with expectations. Celgene said 96% of patients taking Revlimid and low dose dexamethasone, a steroid, survived for one year, a greater percentage than any other previous first-line trial.
Shares of both SuperGen and MGI Pharma rose following lukewarm data for rival treatments of Dacogen, the companies' drug for myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS. Data for competitive products Pharmion's Vidaza and Celgene's Revlimid appeared inferior to Dacogen, said Vinny Jindal, an analyst with ThinkEquity Partners. "We believe Dacogen will emerge as the front-line standard of care for higher-risk MDS patients, with Vidaza or Vidaza plus Revlimid used in Dacogen-failures," he wrote in a client note.
Shares of ImClone Systems fell 2.4% after the company announced mixed results for cancer drug Erbitux. The company said the drug combined with chemotherapy delayed death in patients with head-and-neck cancer by three months. "We think this is a major impact," Dr. Eric Rowinsky, ImClone's chief medical officer, told CNBC's Mike Huckman.