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Deciphera shares spike 84% on strong results from cancer drug study

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s stock price jumped Aug. 13 after the company said it will seek U.S. approval of its cancer medicine ripretinib based on the results of a clinical trial released today.

The Waltham, Mass.-based biotechnology company's stock price was up 84.11% to $36.73 as of 11:43 a.m. ET on Aug. 13.

Deciphera was studying a once-daily dose of ripretinib in a phase 3 trial known as Invictus in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors, or GIST, who did not respond to chemotherapy treatments, including Novartis AG's Gleevec, Pfizer Inc.'s Sutent and Bayer AG's Stivarga.

GIST are uncommon tumors that start in special cells in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, also known as the digestive tract.

On average, patients that received ripretinib during the study lived 6.3 months without their disease worsening or death compared to 1 month in the placebo arm, a measure known as progression-free survival. On another measure known as overall survival, patients who received ripretinib lived for 15.1 months on average compared to 6.6 months in the placebo arm.

With the results in hand, Deciphera expects to seek U.S. approval of the drug in the first quarter of 2020 in patients in the fourth-line and fourth-line plus setting, meaning they would have failed to respond to three or more previous therapies before being considered for ripretinib, which is considered an orphan drug in the U.S. and the EU.