BERKELEY HEIGHTS, N.J. (
shares more than doubled in price Thursday on a massive spike in volume after the company's seliciclib drug candidate was found effective against lung cancer cell lines, including K-RAS protein mutations.
Cyclacel Pharma said two peer-reviewed journal articles have been published featuring seliciclib, an orally available inhibitor of multiple cyclin-dependent kinases, or CDKs. In an article published in
Clinical Cancer Research
, seliciclib was found to be effective in killing lung cancer cells through an induction of cancer cell suicide. Nearly all lung cancer cell lines against which seliciclib was most effective had Ras-activating mutations, the article said.
A second peer-reviewed article published in
The Journal of Cell Biochemistry
said that seliciclib was found to be the most effective at inducing programmed cell death in malignant cells while resulting in significantly less apoptosis induction in normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells, "suggesting the largest therapeutic window among the treatments studied."
"We look forward to unblinding data from our completed Phase 2, randomized, double-blinded...trial in patients with pretreated
non-small cell lung cancer during 2010," said Professor David Glover, Ph.D., Cyclacel's Chief Scientist. "If seliciclib is found to be effective in patients with Ras-mutant
non-small cell lung cancer, it could address an area of high unmet medical need."
Shares of Cyclacel Pharma were rallying by $1.34, or 126.4%, to $2.40, a new 52-week high for shares. More than 21.2 million shares changed hands by 2:15 p.m. EST Thursday, compared to the stock's 50-day average daily volume of 999,000, according to the
Cyclacel Pharma has a 17.4 million-share float with 27,000 shares short as of Dec. 15, according to Yahoo! Finance. Insiders hold only 7.6% of the company's shares, with another 40.2% owned by institutions.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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