Health and Healthcare

Is Sunesis Coming Back From the Dead?

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SNSS) was making moves as the week drew to a close. This company was part of the red-hot health care sector, but it really did not gain any benefit from it. Back in September, Sunesis went from being a $6 stock to a $2 stock. However in Friday’s session this stock is making a comeback.

Friday morning, the company announced additional results of its VALOR trial, a Phase 3 study of vosaroxin and cytarabine in adult patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Basically, VALOR is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 trial that enrolled 711 adult patients with first relapsed or refractory AML at 124 leading sites in 15 countries. Detailed results of the VALOR trial were presented in the “Late Breaking Abstracts” session of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in December 2014.

At the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, data from the post-hoc analysis of VALOR was presented for patients age 60 years and older who received an allogeneic transplant after treatment with vosaroxin or a placebo plus cytarabine.

Farhad Ravandi, M.D., a principal investigator of the VALOR study, said:

AML is a disease that primarily affects older patients, and clinical outcomes among these patients is abysmal. These patients have had few options outside of clinical trial enrollment. Results from the analyses presented today show compelling survival and durable responses with comparable early mortality for the vosaroxin and cytarabine treatment arm in the older refractory and early relapse patients. Given these results, I believe vosaroxin represents an important new treatment option.

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Sunesis is biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development and commercialization of oncology therapeutics for the treatment of solid and hematologic cancers. The company is developing vosaroxin, an anti-cancer quinolone derivative for the treatment of AML.

Shares of Sunesis were up 11.4% at $2.83 on Friday morning. The stock has a consensus analyst price target $3.33 and a 52-week trading range of $1.00 to $8.46.

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