What happened

After releasing updated data from a phase 2 study, shares of Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), a red-hot biotech focused on hematology and oncology, rose 21% as of 10:30 a.m. EDT on Tuesday.

So what

Spectrum announced updated data from a phase 2 trial that is studying a compound called poziotinib as a hopeful treatment for non-small cell lung cancer.

Here's an overview of the key announcements made today:

  • The confirmed objective response rate from the 11 patient trial was 64%. That's much higher than the 20% to 30% response rate that the study investigators were hoping for.
  • The median progression-free survival rate has still not been reached even after a median follow up period of 6.5 months.
  • Enrollment is exceeding expectations.
  • The two most common adverse events that were observed in the study are skin rash and diarrhea.

Here's what Spectrum's CEO Joe Turgeon had to say about this data release:

The updated data from MD Anderson provides additional insight into just how meaningful poziotinib may be in this area of high unmet need. At each turn, the possibility of this drug as an option for EGFR Exon 20 mutant NSCLC patients is becoming more clear.

Given the news, it isn't hard to figure out why Wall Street is bidding up the share price today.

Businessman giving thumbs up as smiling doctor sits nearby.

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Today's update should provide investors with some confidence that poziotinib is going to be a winner, but it is also important to remember that this is just data from an 11 patient phase 2 trial. It is unknown whether or not the company will be able to repeat these positive results in a much larger trial.

The company stated that it will share a more thorough review of this data at a major medical meeting later this year. Bulls and bears alike will want to tune in for clues as to what the future may hold for this potentially lucrative compound.