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Why Novocure Stock Is Jumping Today

What happened

Shares of Novocure (NVCR 6.55%) were jumping 7.6% higher as of 10:42 a.m. ET on Tuesday. The nice gain came after the company announced that Health Canada approved Optune for treating newly diagnosed and recurrent glioblastoma (GBM), an aggressive form of brain cancer.

So what

Canada represents a significant market opportunity for Novocure. Around 1,600 people in the country are diagnosed with GBM each year. 

Optune uses electric fields called tumor treating fields (TTFields) to disrupt the division of tumor cells. In Novocure’s pivotal EF-14 clinical study, patients treated with Optune, in combination with temozolomide chemotherapy, achieved an overall survival of 20.9 months, compared to 16 months for patients treated with temozolomide alone.

Novocure’s therapy has already won regulatory approvals in the U.S., Europe, and Asia in treating GBM. Optune is also approved in the U.S. as a treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Now what

Winning Health Canada approval is an important cleared hurdle for Novocure. However, the company still must secure reimbursement in the country. Novocure Chief Commercial Officer Pritesh Shah said that efforts are underway to obtain public- and private-payer reimbursements as quickly as possible.

There’s another important catalyst for the healthcare stock just around the corner. Novocure expects to announce the results from its pivotal late-stage clinical study evaluating its TTFields therapy in treating non-small cell lung cancer in early 2023. 

The company also has other key milestones on the way. Results from a late-stage study of TTFields in treating recurrent ovarian cancer should be reported next year. Novocure expects to announce data from late-stage studies targeting brain metastases and ovarian cancer in 2024.

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Novocure. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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