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Maxim Pharmaceuticals


was the most heavily traded issue in Wednesday's premarket session after the company claimed success in a phase 3 trial of patients with a common form of leukemia.

The shares were recently up $1.90, or 24%, to $9.90 on Instinet, with almost 717,000 share traded. Adam Feuerstein, a columnist on

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, has

previously raised questions about how Maxim communicated clinical progress in the past.

In a phase 3 trial, Ceplene in combination with Interleukin 2 was shown to extend the cancer-free survival of patients with acute myeloid leukemia, according to the company. Maxim said the improvement was statistically significant when compared with a control group of patients.

Maxim said it plans to use the results from the trial to seek expanded labeling for Ceplene with Interleukin 2, which it is also trying to get cleared for malignant skin cancer.

Maxim's trial focused on acute myeloid leukemia patients in remission. The disease often responds to chemotherapy in early stages but a majority of patients relapse with poor survival prospects. Ceplene is supposed to extend the remission period and prevent relapses.

The company said more detailed results from the phase 3 trial will be presented at upcoming hematology meetings.