Puma Biotechnology Inc. shares dropped 26.3% in pre-market trade Thursday after rival Roche said its drug for early breast cancer had positive results in a late-stage clinical trial. Roche said for post-surgical treatment, its Perjeta drug in combination with chemotherapy drug Herceptin and chemotherapy was able to reduce risk of recurrence in a statistically significant way relative to just Herceptin and chemotherapy. This result, assuming no surprises from the data in full, has essentially "eliminated" the commercial opportunity in post-surgical treatment for Puma's neratinib drug, which is also being developed for breast cancer, according to RBC Capital Markets analyst Simos Simeonidis. "With Perjeta soon to be on the market, marketed by Roche's dominant marketing machine that has owned the HER2+ space for a decade, we believe this active yet difficult to administer agent would have a very tough time being commercially relevant, even if it ended up being approved," he said, lowering his price target by 55% to $17. Puma shares have declined 4.9% over the last three months, compared with a 9.3% rise in the S&P 500 .
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