Shares in Spain’s Zeltia are on the rise this morning after regulators in Europe approved the firm’s oncology drug Yondelis for ovarian cancer.

The decision by the European Commission was expected given that Yondelis trabectedin) which is already approved for the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma, got a positive recommendation for ovarian cancer in September from the European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use. Yondelis can now be used for the new indication in combination with Johnson & Johnson's Doxil (doxorubicin).

The Madrid-headquartered company said the combo has been approved for use in the 27 countries of the European Union, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechenstein. However it will be launched first in the UK, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, “where it is not necessary to negotiate prices”.

The European thumbs-up is in contrast to the stance being taken by regulators across the Atlantic. In September, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a complete response letter on the Yondelis/Doxil combination for ovarian cancer and requested additional information, including overall survival data from the company's ongoing pivotal trial and further clinical pharmacology studies.

At 10.55 this morning (UK time), Zeltia's shares were up 7% at 4.32 euros.