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Biotech Stock in Focus: Medivation-Astellas’ Xtandi’s Label Expanded

Medivation, Inc (MDVN) and partner Astellas Pharma Inc (ALPMY) received a major boost with the FDA expanding the label of their prostate cancer treatment, Xtandi. Xtandi, which was earlier approved for the treatment of patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) who had previously received docetaxel (chemotherapy), can now be used in patients with metastatic CRPC who have not received chemotherapy.

The prostate cancer market represents immense commercial potential. Medivation has consistently presented impressive data on Xtandi. Expansion into the pre-chemo setting is a huge positive for Medivation.

The PREVAIL data, on the pre-chemo patient population, has the potential to change physician as well as patient expectations for the treatment of prostate cancer. Detailed data was very impressive and should pave the path for Xtandi to take share from existing treatments once launched for the pre-chemo indication. The 17-month delay in the time to initiation of chemotherapy should work in Xtandi s favor.

Biotech Stock News

Xtandi has been performing well ever since it was launched. Astellas reported net Xtandi sales of $268.2 million in the U.S. in the first half of 2014. Sales were up 70% from the prior year period mainly due to higher volumes. With the company gaining approval for the pre-chemo indication, sales should increase further in the second half of the year on the back of strong demand.

Medivation will receive a $90 million milestone payment related to the U.S. approval. With this approval, Medivation’s prostate cancer treatment, Xtandi, can now be used in the pre-chemo patient population as well

Biotech Financial News

Gilead was the biggest loser among the big biotechs last week with its shares declining 1.07%, reflecting concerns regarding the company’s decision to sell Sovaldi at a significant discount in developing countries. Celgene (CELG) also lost some ground with shares declining 0.39%.

Gilead was the biggest gainer over the last six months (up 39.59%). Meanwhile, Alexion’s shares were down 6.77% over the last six months.

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