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Dynavax Technologies shares climb after drug test to treat melanoma shows positive response rate

The company's lead drug, SD-101 is being evaluated for its safety and activity

cancer cells
Dynavax discovers and develops novel vaccines and immuno-oncology therapeutics

Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) shares rose on Monday after reporting a 70% overall response rate when using their drug in combination with another treatment for advanced melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

The combination of Dynavax's SD-101 with Keytruda, a drug developed by Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK) was tolerated well by patients taking part in the study, the company said in a presentation at a medicaql conference in Munich, Germany.

“These results are encouraging because the overall response rate in the 2 mg group has remained consistent with the data presented at the 2018 American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting, even though the number of patients increased by more than 50%," said Rob Janssen, the chief medical officer.

"In addition, median progression-free survival has not yet been reached, but statistically is expected to be at least 15.2 months, providing further validation of the potential benefit of the combination therapy,” he said.

Shares of Dynavax gained 19.8% to $13.05, having closed on Friday down 4.22% at $10.89.

READ: Dynavax shares set to rise on "encouraging' results of cancer drug

SD-101, the company's lead clinical candidate, is a second-generation, which is being evaluated by the company in several clinical studies to assess its safety and activity, including a Phase 2 study in combination with Keytruda, a therapy in patients with advanced melanoma and in patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer. 

In the clinical collaboration with Merck. Dynavax maintains all commercial rights to SD-101.

Dynavax is a biopharmaceutical company focused on leveraging the power of the body's immune responses through toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation. Dynavax discovers and develops novel vaccines and immuno-oncology therapeutics.

The company is based in Berkeley, California.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on [email protected]

Quick facts: Dynavax Technologies

Price: 5.94 USD

NASDAQ:DVAX
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $498.16 m
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