ASCO18: Reaction…

With the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting starting to wind down for another year, reaction to the numerous data presentations has started, with some drugmakers performing better than others. Amongst the chatter of feedback, FirstWord has rounded up some of the main movers below:

  • Nektar takes hit after data reveal for CD122-biased agonist NKTR-214
  • Jounce falls for second time on results for ICOS agonist JTX-2011
  • Deciphera Pharmaceuticals up on data for DCC-2618 in GIST
  • Immunomedics climbs on results for antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan
  • Idera drops on findings from study of TLR9 agonist tilsotolimod

Nektar takes hit after data reveal for CD122-biased agonist NKTR-214

Shares in Nektar Therapeutics fell more than 40 percent as investors reacted to data presented from the Phase I/II PIVOT study of the CD122-biased agonist NKTR-214 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab). The trial evaluated the combination in patients with stage IV metastatic melanoma, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cancers.

Evercore ISI analyst Josh Schimmer said the results were "underwhelming" adding "we remain unconvinced that '214 adds benefit to Opdivo." However, J.P. Morgan analyst Jessica Fye suggested that the data are "supportive of the long-term potential for NKTR-214 to enhance the efficacy of PD-1 in a number of tumour types," although she noted that the "immature response rate data…came in on the low end of Street expectations."

Jounce falls for second time on results for ICOS agonist JTX-2011

Shares in Jounce Therapeutics slipped over 35 percent following data reported from the Phase I/II ICONIC trial evaluating the ICOS agonist JTX-2011 alone and in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) in patients with advanced solid tumours. The company's stock had fallen nearly 30 percent last month when an overview of the results were released ahead of the ASCO conference.

Updated results showed that one out of eight patients with gastric cancer given JTX-2011 alone had a partial response (PR), while when the drug was combined with Opdivo, two out of 32 patients had PRs. Meanwhile, in triple negative breast cancer, one PR was observed in 17 patients given JTX-2011 and Opdivo.

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals up on data for DCC-2618 in GIST

Deciphera Pharmaceuticals' shares climbed more than 35 percent on updated results from a Phase I study of the KIT and PDGFR-alpha inhibitor DCC-2618 in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GIST). CEO Michael Taylor said the data "supports the planned initiation later this year of our Phase III trial, INTRIGUE, in second-line GIST patients."

Results presented at the ASCO conference showed that in 25 second-line patients, DCC-2618 led to an objective response rate (ORR) of 24 percent, while the response was also the same in 29 third-line patients. Deciphera said the response data, as well as a combined disease-control rate of 80 percent, exceed those seen in registrational trials for approved GIST therapies, where ORRs have been 4.5 percent and 7 percent, with levels of disease control between 53 percent and 60 percent.

Immunomedics climbs on results for antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan

Shares in Immunomedics rose 14 percent on Phase I/II study data for the antibody-drug conjugate sacituzumab govitecan in advanced stage oestrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. Head of R&D Robert Iannone said "we are seeking input from the health authorities regarding a potential registration pathway that could allow us to rapidly bring" the drug to market.

Results showed that in 54 patients who received sacituzumab govitecan, there was a confirmed overall response rate (ORR) of 31 percent, with an estimated median duration of response of 7.4 months. Further, in a subgroup of 37 patients who had received prior CDK 4/6 inhibitors, the ORR was 24 percent.

Idera drops on findings from study of TLR9 agonist tilsotolimod

Shares in Idera Pharmaceuticals fell around 10 percent after the company detailed results from the ILLUMINATE-204 trial of the TLR9 agonist tilsotolimod in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb's Yervoy (ipilimumab). Data showed that in 21 patients with anti-PD-1 refractory metastatic melanoma, there was an overall response rate (ORR) of 38 percent, including two complete responses.

Lead investigator Adi Diab noted that "in patients with metastatic melanoma receiving [Keytruda] who switched to single agent [Yervoy] at the time of disease progression the reported ORR was 13 percent." Diab added "the duration of response, which is ongoing in most of the responders, is particularly encouraging."

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