Johnson & Johnson's
The company didn't say how long abiraterone was able to extend survival -- it's saving the full data for a scientific meeting in October -- but beating placebo by a statistically significant amount should be enough to get the drug approved, given the lack of options for patients who have failed sanofi-aventis'
Sanofi recently reported data on this patient population for its own second-line drug, cabazitaxel, but the comparison with abiraterone could be difficult. Cabazitaxel produced a median survival of 15.1 months, but the drug was compared to EMD Serono and OSI Pharmaceuticals'
Whichever drug ends up coming out on top, it's clear that Dendreon's
Johnson & Johnson is testing abiraterone in patients earlier in their disease progression, but it's only in a phase 2 trial right now. For the immediate future, Provenge will only have to worry about Taxotere, to which it appears to be superior.
Prostate cancer has generally been considered a tough disease to treat, but recent positive results look like good news for patients. For investors, the results highlight one of the challenges of investing in drugmakers: looking in the rear view mirror -- where you'll find Medivation
Jim Mueller suggests bypassing branded drugs in favor of this generic-drug maker.
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