Tesaro's ovarian cancer drug lengthens survival time in late-stage trial

Tesaro's experimental ovarian cancer drug niraparib proved to significantly lengthen progression-free survival time in patients during a recent Stage 3 trial.

The study included more than 500 patients with recurrent ovarian cancer and found that both women with and without a BRCA gene mutation — which helps suppress tumors and make women more treatable — responded positively to the drug.

In patients with a BRCA mutation, progression-free survival for those treated with niraparib was 21 months, compared to 5.5 months for those on a placebo. Patients without the BRCA mutation had a progression-free survival of 9.3 months compared to 3.9 months for those on the placebo.

Researchers said data from the study increases the likelihood that niraparib will be used as a first line treatment for women with ovarian cancer and BRCA-related breast cancer.

Stocks of the Waltham, Mass.-based drugmaker more than doubled to $77 a share in response to news of the trial's results.

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