Shares of Lantheus Holdings (LNTH 3.15%) were soaring 17.1% as of 11:01 a.m. EDT on Thursday. The big jump came after the company announced that the Food and Drug Administration had approved Pylarify, an imaging agent used to identify prostate cancer.
Today's significant gain for the life sciences stock underscores how optimistic investors are about the market potential for Pylarify. It's the first imaging agent to win FDA approval that's targeted to the prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) for use in positron emission tomography.
Lantheus thinks that Pylarify could represent "a paradigm shift" in how metastasized or recurrent prostate cancer is identified. CEO Mary Anne Heino said that the company believes the imaging agent could provide "more accurate and earlier detection of disease than conventional imaging."
Lantheus plans to make Pylarify available immediately in parts of the mid-Atlantic region as well as in the southern U.S. The company expects that availability of the product will expand rapidly to other areas across the country over the next six months.