NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Exelixis (EXEL) - Get Report shares are up 3.51% to $2.95 in afternoon trading on Thursday after the biotechnology company's advanced renal cell carcinoma treatment, cabozantinib, was granted fast track status by the FDA.

The fast track designation is designed to expedite the review process for treatments of fatal diseases that do not already have viable alternatives for treatment. With the designation, cabozantinib is now also eligible for a Priority Review of a New Drug Application.

Kidney cancer is one of the top 10 most commonly diagnosed forms of cancer with clear cell renal cell carcinoma being the most common type found in adults. Cabozantinib works by inhibiting the activity of receptor tyrosine kinases which are involved in both normal cellular function and in pathologic processes.

Exelixis expects to release top line results from the current study of the drug sometime in the second quarter this year.

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