Why the Amplia (ASX:ATX) share price is rocketing 41% higher today

The Australian pharmaceutical company sees its share price jump after good news on a drug trial.

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The Amplia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX: ATX) share price is one of the best performers on the ASX today. This comes after the pharmaceutical company announced positive news in trials to improve pancreatic cancer survival.

At one point in intraday trade, Amplia shares were up a massive 56% to 32 cents. They've since pulled back slightly to 29 cents per share.

The Australian company says its AMP945 inhibitor is able to boost the anticancer activity of standard treatment drugs by up to 27% in animal trials.

The trials were undertaken in collaboration with Professor Paul Timpson from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Amplia Therapeutics is advancing the pipeline of Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) inhibitors for the treatment of cancers and fibrosis. FAK is increasingly important in the field of cancer immunology.

What's driving the Amplia share price higher?

Investors are fighting to get hold of Amplia shares after the company released data from its latest trials using the AMP945 inhibitor on mice.

In its announcement, Amplia advised that new data has shown AMP945 is able to improve anticancer activity.

The trial combined oral doses of AMP945 with standard treatment drugs — gemcitabine and Abraxane — used in the treatment of aggressive pancreatic cancer.

The new data found adding intermittent doses of AMP945 increased the survival rate by 27%.

The mice that received AMP945, with gemcitabine and Abraxane, survived for a median of up to 28 days. This compared to 18 days for mice who didn't receive the treatment.

This follows previous studies revealing AMP945 enhances the activity of chemotherapy by increasing cell death and reducing the spread of cancer cells.

What did management say?

Garvan Institute of Medical Research Professor Paul Timpson said:

The pancreatic cancer cells used in this experiment are extremely aggressive, so showing any beneficial effect on survival is very encouraging. A 25% improvement in survival in this model is very impressive and a level of improvement that we rarely see.

Amplia CEO Dr. John Lambert added:

These data further underpin the rationale for our planned Phase 2 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer. Earlier data told us that adding AMP945 to gemcitabine and Abraxane increased cancer cell death and reduced proliferation, and this new data tells us that those effects actually translate into prolonged survival in this model. We are strongly encouraged by these results.

Amplia is planning a Phase 2 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer patients towards the end of this year.

The Amplia share price has risen by around 120% during the past 12 months.

Motley Fool contributor Aaron Teboneras has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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