Shares in UK group Oxford BioMedica were on the rise yesterday after it emerged that the company has received clearance from regulators across the pond for a mid-stage trial of its cancer vaccine Trovax.

Both the Food and Drug Administration and Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee have now given a seal of approval for a Phase II study in the US to assess the activity of Trovax in patients with progressive hormone refractory prostate cancer, the second most common cancer in men worldwide.

The decision means that the planned trial - which will be randomised and open label in nature, and should enrol around 80 patients with the disease - can kick off by the end of the third quarter, assessing a regimen of Trovax and the chemotherapy Docetaxel compared to the latter alone in five centres across the country.

The news should be particularly welcomed by the firm as Trovax, targets the tumour antigen 5T4, suffered a significant setback in 2008 after missing a primary endpoint in renal cancer trial. However, following a review of data from the Phase III TRIST study, US regulators approved the company’s plans for further development of the cancer vaccine last year.

Clearance of this Phase II trial in prostate cancer follows positive analysis of the TRIST data, and the firm intends this trial “to be followed by a series of investigator-led clinical studies”, noted John Dawson, Oxford BioMedica’s chief executive.

The group’s shares closed up 3.74% on the London Stock Exchange following the news.