What happened

After presenting data from a phase 1 study at a medical conference, shares of Radius Health (RDUS -3.48%), a commercial-stage biotech focused on osteoporosis and cancer, rose 15% as of 11:15 a.m. EST on Friday.

So what

Radius Health presented data from its phase 1 005 trial at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. This study was designed to evaluate a compound called elacestrant (RAD1901) as a potential treatment for estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer.

This study enrolled 40 patients with advanced breast cancer that had received an average of three prior lines of therapy. Here are the key clinical takeaways from the study:

  • Elacestrant elicited an objective response rate of 27.3%.
  • Median progression-free survival was 5.4 months.
  • Clinical benefit rate at 24 weeks was 47.4%.
  • Elacestrant was generally shown to be well-tolerated. The most common side effects were nausea, dyspepsia, and vomiting.

Here's what Dr. Gary Hattersley, Radius Health's chief scientific officer, had to say about the trial:

"Patients cycle through and generally do not repeat treatment regimens, limiting treatment options as their disease advances. We are pleased about the potential to offer patients who have progressed or relapsed during their current standard of care with a new treatment option. Radius is committed to developing and to providing breast cancer patients with the next generation of hormonal treatment options, as a single agent and in combination, across all lines of therapy."   

This data gave management enough confidence to green light a phase 2 study that will kick off in early 2018. Since elacestrant has already received fast track designation from the FDA, it is possible that data from the phase 2 study could be enough for Radius Health to seek regulatory approval.

Given the upbeat news, it isn't hard to figure out why traders are cheering on Friday.

Group of researchers pointing at DNA

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

While elacestrant is an exciting compound that bulls need to keep an eye on, there's no doubt that this company's future hinges on the successful commercialization of Tymlos. Tymlos is Radius Health's recently approved treatment for osteoporosis.

On that front, things appear to be going reasonably well. Tymlos' sales in its first full quarter on the market hit $3.5 million, which is a decent number. The company is also making good progress with coverage as 200 million Americans now have access to the drug. What's more, now that Amgen's osteoporosis drug romosozumab has been delayed by at least a year, Tymlos should have a wide-open market opportunity.

Between Tymlos and elacestrant, Radius Health's investors should have plenty of reasons to remain optimistic. That makes this an intriguing stock for risk-loving biotech investors to keep tabs on.