9:54 AM
May 17, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Clinical News

Nektar shares dip after latest PIVOT-02 results

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:NKTR) slipped $6.57 to $79.23 on Thursday after reporting updated response rates from the Phase Ib/II PIVOT-02 study of NKTR-214 plus Opdivo nivolumab. The stock move slashed Nektar's market cap by more than $1.1 billion.

The data appeared in an abstract ahead of the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago. NKTR-214 is an immunostimulatory cytokine engineered to selectively activate IL-2 receptor beta chain (CD122; IL2RB) receptors on cytotoxic T cells, resulting in increased PD-1 expression on T cells and NK cells in the tumor microenvironment.

The update showed that in 23 evaluable patients with stage IV melanoma, first-line treatment with NKTR-214 plus Opdivo led to an overall response rate (ORR) of 52% and a disease control rate (DCR) of 78%. In November, Nektar had reported a best ORR of 64% and a DCR of 91% among 11 evaluable melanoma patients (see BioCentury Extra, Nov. 13, 2017).

The ASCO abstract also said that among 24 evaluable renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients, first-line treatment with the combo led to an ORR of 54% and a DCR of 79%. In March, the company had reported an updated best ORR of 71% in 14 evaluable RCC patients who received NKTR-214 plus Opdivo in the Phase Ib portion of the trial (see BioCentury Extra, March 2).

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) markets Opdivo, a human IgG4 mAb against PD-1. BMS and Nektar are co-developing the NKTR-214 combo under a February deal in which Nektar received $1.85 billion in upfront cash and equity (see BioCentury, March 2).

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