Updated from Feb. 19

Shares of Idec Pharmaceuticals ( IDPH) jumped almost 9% Wednesday, one day after its new cancer drug, Zevalin, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In recent trading, Idec shares were up $4.23, or 7.5%% to $60.24. The stock traded as high as $61.29 earlier in the day.

Zevalin received an approvable letter from drug regulators last month, but final clearance was held up until Idec could clear up issues related to its manufacturing partner. The FDA approval, announced Tuesday night, was earlier than many analysts expected.

Idec will market the drug within the U.S. Outside the U.S., Schering AG ( SHR) will be responsible for selling the drug.

Zevalin is a new type of cancer fighter -- a monoclonal antibody with an extra kick of radiation attached, which increases its tumor-killing power. The FDA approved the drug as a treatment for patients suffering from advanced cases of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, including patients who have failed to respond to Rituxan, another drug marketed by Idec and Genentech ( DNA).

Idec says it expects to start selling Zevalin in 30 to 60 days.

Salomon Smith Barney biotech analyst Elise Wang upgraded Idec to buy and raised her 2002 earnings estimate to 86 cents per share from 83 cents per share, bolstered by higher-than-expected Zevalin sales. Wang's firm has done underwriting for Idec.

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