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Study Propels Progen

Shares of drug developer Progen Industries (PGLA) jumped 42% after the company announced positive results on its experimental liver cancer drug.

The stock was up $1.25 to $4.20 Wednesday morning.

In ongoing trials, patients who were given the drug PI-88 following removal of a cancerous tumor went 76% longer before tumor recurrence when compared with patients not on the drug. While it took patients on the drug 30 weeks before the tumor grew back, in patients who didn't receive the drug, tumors recurred after 17 weeks.

"These results are clinically very encouraging," said Professor John Zalcberg, chief clinical advisor to Progen. "It is well known that once liver cancer recurs, the patient's survival prognosis is poor and the quality of life deteriorates dramatically."

The company plans to conduct further analyses at 48 weeks, and data are expected in the second quarter of 2007. The Brisbane, Australia-based company is currently preparing for a larger phase III trial of PI-88 for the treatment of liver cancer in Asia.

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