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Spectrum Pharma's blood cancer drug meets trial goal

By Vrinda Manocha

(Reuters) - Spectrum Pharmaceuticals Inc said a mid-stage trial of its experimental blood cancer drug met the main goal of reducing the size of tumors.

The biotechnology company's shares, which have fallen about 22 percent over the past 12 months, were up about 3 percent at $11.60 in morning trade on the Nasdaq and touched a high of $11.75 .

The drug, belinostat, was tested in patients with relapsed or refractory peripheral T-Cell lymphoma (PTCL), and who had failed to respond to at least one therapy.

The company said it expects to file a marketing application with U.S. health regulators by mid-2013, and expects a review date in 2014.

The trial was conducted under a special protocol assessment that provides a company with a written agreement that the design of the study and analysis of the data are adequate to support a marketing application with the U.S. health regulator.

Spectrum markets another drug to treat PTCL, named Folotyn, which it obtained as part of its acquisition of cancer drugmaker Allos Therapeutics earlier this year.

MLV & Co analyst George Zavoico said Folotyn and belinostat have different mechanisms of action, and having two drugs for the same indication could be useful in cases of relapsed patients who develop resistance to one of them.

PTCL consists of a group of aggressive blood cancers that develop from T-cells, a class of white blood cells.

(Reporting By Vrinda Manocha in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian and Sreejiraj Eluvangal)

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