4SC surges on positive midstage data for advanced liver cancer

Shares of Germany's 4SC ($VSC) surged 35% after investigators reported promising mid-stage data for the cancer drug resminostat, an HDAC inhibitor, in difficult-to-treat patients with advanced liver cancer.

4SC will now head to ASCO with data from a small Phase II trial indicating that their experimental treatment combined with Nexavar halted disease progression for at least 12 weeks among two thirds of 15 patients in the study, with some individuals going more than a year without further progression. Three of the 9 patients in the monotherapy arm went progression-free for at least 12 weeks.

"The now presented data of our SHELTER study validate impressively the growing applicability of the new epigenetic mechanism of action offered by our lead anti-cancer compound resminostat," says 4SC CEO Ulrich Dauer. "Tumor cell resensitization, which is mediated by resminostat through the inhibition of HDAC enzymes, is highly relevant for clinical practice, since the supplementary administration of resminostat can permit the continued and effective treatment of patients with a cancer drug to which patient response is no longer adequate."

4SC experienced a bitter setback last summer when its oral RA treatment flunked a midstage study. At the time Dauer vowed to push ahead with the program for other autoimmune disease. A number of biotechs are working on HDAC inhibitors, including Curis and Acetylon.

- here's the press release

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