What happened

Shares of Adaptimmune Therapeutics (NASDAQ:ADAP), a clinical-stage biotech focused on oncology, are rocketing higher in response to updated trial data. Investors impressed with the results have pushed the stock 139% higher as of 1:36 p.m. EDT on Friday. 

So what 

Earlier this year, Adaptimmune Therapeutics stock exploded higher after the company reported four partial responses to its experimental T-cells therapies, two of which hadn't been confirmed at the time. Today's update suggests those early signs of success really were pointing in the right direction.

Big rocket

Image source: Getty Images.

In the Surpass trial, three of the first four patients treated with ADP-A2M4CD8 had smaller tumors at the last checkup than they did at the outset. Eight out of 16 patients with synovial sarcoma have shown partial responses to treatment with ADP-A2M4. Two out of three esophagogastric junction (EGJ) cancer patients treated with ADP-A2M4CD8 showed partial tumor shrinkage.

Also, one out of three liver cancer patients treated with ADP-A2AFP that had a partial response earlier this year has improved to a complete response. This sign of durability was particularly encouraging because this was the first patient treated with this candidate at the target dosage.

Now what

Adaptimmune doesn't have any approved products to sell yet, but new tumor responses reported today suggest the company's headed toward commercialization in more directions than previously expected. Adaptimmune intends to complete the recruitment of synovial sarcoma patients into the Spearhead-1 trial with ADP-A2M4 by the end of June, and based on today's update, the company thinks the trial will support an accelerated approval followed by a commercial launch in 2022.

Based on responses from EGJ patients treated with ADP-A2M4CD8 so far, Adaptimmune will start a new phase 2 study focused on this indication. Despite today's big run-up, there could be a lot more room for this stock to climb if its cell-based cancer therapy candidates continue to impress.