Shares in NetScientific PLC (LON: NSCI) doubled in value after it emerged that a drug developed by one of its portfolio companies will take a key role in a phase II clinical study planned by industry giant Merck.
PDS Biotechnology’s PDS0101 will be trialled in harness with Merck’s top-selling immunotherapy, KEYTRUDA, as a front-line treatment for recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and the high-risk human papillomavirus-16 infection. The move essentially fast-tracks PDS0101.
"This collaboration advancing PDS0101 into phase II studies clearly demonstrates the strength of the results from PDS's initial Phase I studies for PDS0101,” said Ian Postlethwaite, chief executive of NetScientific, which invested £1.76mln for a 14.85% shareholding in PDS.
"Merck is renowned in the field of immuno-oncology, and PDS0101 when working in combination with their leading treatment for cancer, KEYTRUDA®, has the potential to offer a new and exciting therapy for patients suffering from these devastating diseases."
In mid-afternoon trade the shares, which were ahead 100% at one point, were changing hands for 11.26p, up 80%.