Keryx shares surge on promising colon cancer data

Shares of Keryx Pharmaceuticals jumped more than 12 percent after its experimental colon cancer drug hit a trio of key goals in a mid-stage clinical trial. Researchers say the drug, KRX-0401 or perifosine, demonstrated a greater than 60 percent improvement in overall survival of cancer patients, a doubling of median time to progression and a near doubling of the rate of disease stabilization.

"It has been several years since any drug candidate has shown a robust advantage across all key efficacy parameters" in colon cancer patients, says Keryx CEO Ron Bentsur. He adds that Keryx now plans to hammer out the design of a late-stage colon cancer study with regulators at the FDA over the next three months.

It was a small trial, enrolling 38 patients with advanced metastatic cancer who had been heavily pretreated. And there was a red flag in the data. Patients taking the experimental medication experienced a higher rate of adverse events like anemia. Perifosine is currently in a late-stage study for relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma.

- here's the press release
- check out the Dow Jones story
- and here's the Reuters piece