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Why Shares in CytRx Corporation Are Surging Higher

By Todd Campbell - May 4, 2015 at 12:29PM

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CytRx Corporation announced positive early-stage trial data for aldoxorubicin.

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares in CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR) are rallying by more than 30% after the company released interim positive results for aldoxorubicin in chemotherapy resistant cancer.

So What: CytRx Corporation is a clinical stage biotech company that is developing a second generation variation of the cancer drug doxorubicin, called aldoxorubicin.

The company's most advanced clinical trials for aldoxorubicin are evaluating the drug in soft tissue sarcoma, a rare cancer that develops in bone and muscle tissue. Previously-released data for use in soft tissue sarcoma patients is encouraging, with patients taking the drug seeing a two-fold improvement in survival versus doxorubicin.

Today's report updates investors on aldoxorubicin's potential use alongside the chemotherapy drugs gemcitabine or ifosfamide. In phase 1b studies, patients receiving aldoxorubicin combination therapy saw tumor shrinkage after just two cycles. One bone cancer patient saw a complete tumor response after five cycles.

Now What: CytRx Corporation's aldoxorubicin is intriguing because although doxorubicin is a standard treatment, its dosing is restricted by its side effects and its potential to damage heart tissue. By pairing up a novel single molecule with doxorubicin, aldoxorubicin improves doxorubicin's safety profile, allowing it to be dosed at far higher levels that appear to improve efficacy.

If aldoxorubicin can continue to outperform doxorubicin in trials, including in combination trials alongside other commonly-used cancer treatments, it could displace doxorubicin use altogether. Granted, there are a lot of risks that could derail aldoxorubicin in trials, particularly as it's used in more patients, but its effectiveness so far suggests that risk tolerant investors may want to keep CytRx Corporation on their watch list. 

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