Medivation chief amps up rhetoric on Ph3 prostate cancer drug

With much of his company's future hinging on its experimental prostate cancer drug, Medivation ($MDVN) CEO David Hung listed the ways the Phase III treatment could be better than rivals, taking dead aim on Johnson & Johnson's ($JNJ) recently approved Zytiga in an interview with Reuters.

Medivation has a lot riding on its prostate cancer drug, MDV3100. The company's shares took a nosedive after its Phase III program for an Alzheimer's drug stumbled last year. Its fortunes could change with positive full results from the late-stage trial of the prostate cancer drug expected next year, Reuters reported. Yet there are multiple newly approved weapons against the cancer, including Zytiga and Dendreon's ($DNDN) cancer vaccine Provenge. And Hung points out how his firm's drug could best or in some cases complement existing therapies.

Both Medivation's drug and Zytiga target pathways, albeit different ones, to block testosterone, the hormone on which prostate cancers thrive. Yet Hung told Reuters his firm's therapy is taken without the steroid prednisone, unlike Zytiga. Not only does this simplify therapy, but patients could also take MDV3100 in combination with Provenge. It's recommended that patients avoid steroid treatment while on Provenge, making the Zytiga-Provenge combo less likely. Zytiga is also taken twice a day, double the number of doses per day of MDV3100.

"We want to do whatever we can to make our drug available to as many patients as possible," Hung told Reuters. "It is always good to minimize the lead of a competitor."

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