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Why Did Pfizer (PFE) Stock Pop Today?

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Shares of Pfizer (PFE - Free Report) and Astellas Pharma moved higher in morning trading Thursday after the companies said their new prostate cancer drug, Xtandi, met the main goal of an important clinical trial.

Xtandi is actually already approved to treat metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), but today’s results showed statistically significant improvement in the survival rate of men with non-metastatic CRPC.

“Many prostate cancer patients who initiate androgen deprivation therapy will experience disease progression illustrated by a rising PSA level, and currently, there are no FDA-approved treatment options for patients with non-metastatic CRPC until they develop confirmed radiographic metastatic disease,” said Carolina Urologic Research Center director Neal Shore, M.D.

If Xtandi is approved to treat non-metastatic CRPC, it will create a brand new revenue channel for Pfizer. The drug was added to the pharma giant’s portfolio through the company’s $14 billion acquisition of Medivation last year.

With its current approvals, Xtandi witnessed U.S. sales of about $141 million in Pfizer’s most recent quarter. Astellas Pharma, which is based in Japan, owns the rights to distribute the drug outside of the United States.

Pfizer shares surged more than 1.8% in early morning trading, hitting an intraday high of $35.74 per share in the process. Shares of Astellas gained as much as 2% to touch an intraday high of $12.90.

PFE has now gained more than 6% in the past four weeks, which has helped the stock earn an “A” grade for Momentum in our Style Scores system.

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