Antigenics

(AGEN) - Get Report

said on Wednesday that the Food and Drug Administration has granted the company's personalized cancer vaccine orphan status in the treatment of renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer.

The orphan designation of the biotech firm's Oncophage drug will give Antigenics potential market exclusivity for renal cell carcinoma for seven years after FDA marketing approval, as well as tax incentives up to 50% of the company's investment in U.S. clinical research. The orphan drug program was developed to encourage research, development and approval of products that affect fewer than 200,000 patients in the U.S.

In a press release, Antigenics said, "This designation is extremely gratifying for us, as it clearly supports our aim of developing superior treatments for underserved markets."

Patients treated with Oncophage undergo a partial or complete kidney removal, followed by weekly vaccine injections.

Shares of Antigenics were recently climbing about 10% to $11 after closing at $10 Tuesday.