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Clovis shares double on positive early data for lung cancer drug

(Reuters) - Clovis Oncology said initial results of an early-stage trial of its experimental lung cancer drug showed a reduction in tumor size, prompting investors to more than double the company's market value on Monday.

The experimental therapy, named CO-1686, aims to treat non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with a mutation in gene T790M.

"(The) data was extremely impressive and we believe further highlights the drug's paradigm changing potential for at least refractory NSCLC patients with (this) mutation," Leerink Swann analyst Marko Kozul wrote in a note.

Shares of Clovis, which had a market capitalization of about $960 million as on Friday, touched a life high of $86.29 before paring some gains to trade up 127 percent at $83.20. The stock was the top percentage gainer on the Nasdaq on Monday.

Forty-two patients were treated with CO-1686 as of May 2013, and the company highlighted initial findings of the treatment on six patients.

Clovis said four of the six patients showed partial response to the disease, while two patients showed a tumor shrinkage of more than 20 percent.

"Beyond this impressive preliminary efficacy is that a maximum tolerated dose has still not been reached, suggesting data could further improve from here," Kozul said, calling the results "unparalleled".

The company said 62 percent of the patients showed treatment-related adverse events such as fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, muscle spasms and anemia.

Clovis also released initial results of an early-stage study of its experimental ovarian cancer drug, rucaparib, which showed the disease, at worst, remaining stable in eight out of nine patients, following 12 weeks of treatment.

The disease control rate in seven patients with a mutation in the BRCA gene was 100 percent. Women with a BRCA gene mutation are known to be at a higher risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

(Reporting by Pallavi Ail in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)

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