Healthcare Business

How ASCO Could Make or Break These 5 Cancer Drug Trials

We are now halfway through May, and that means one thing for biotech investors. The king of biotech and pharma events is about to take place. The 2017 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is set to run from June 2 to June 6 in Chicago. This conference has the potential to make or break companies, with winners walking away from this event with a nice gain and losers trying to pick up the pieces.

The abstracts for ASCO have just been released, and stocks are already moving in anticipation. There are many more companies that have yet to release their presentation information for ASCO as well.

24/7 Wall St. wanted to make a log of companies that have already signaled that they will be presenting data, or that data will be presented on their behalf, at the 2017 ASCO annual meeting. The data follow:

BlueBird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) will be presenting updated data from its Phase 1 study of bb2121. Data contained in abstract 3010 were as of November 2016 and were previously reported at American Society of Hematology (ASH) in December, showing a 100% overall response rate. The update at ASCO will include six additional months of follow-up, giving important insight into treatment durability, as well as initial data from ten additional patients. Shares of BlueBird were last trading up over 5% at $90.79, with a consensus analyst price target of $96.12 and a 52-week trading range of $36.62 to $100.40.

Epizyme Inc. (NASDAQ: EPZM) is presenting updated data at ASCO from its Phase 2 trial of tazemetostat in INI-1 negative solid tumors. Recent activity appears promising and potentially supportive of accelerated approval, considering there is no established standard of care in the setting. Updated response rate data from the epithelioid sarcoma cohort is expected at ASCO. Shares of Epizyme were trading up 1.8% at $16.95, with a consensus price target of $24.00 and a 52-week range of $7.02 to $18.50.

Juno Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: JUNO) will report an update from its Transcend study of JCAR017. No additional details were reported in the abstract. However, analysts believe that a three-month complete remission rate of about 40% would represent a win, given Kite Pharma’s Zuma-1 data remained relatively unchanged at the 50 patient mark. Shares of Juno were up 1.8% at $24.95. The 52-week range is $17.52 to $49.72, and the consensus price target is $30.50.

Kite Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: KITE) is presenting an update from its Zuma-3 study, as well as additional data from the ZUMA-1 study. At last year’s ASH meeting, Kite reported data for eight evaluable patients in Zuma-3, with three achieving complete remission and three with complete remission with partial hematologic recovery. However, only four patients have ongoing responses, with the longest out to 5.4 months. Shares of Kite were trading up 3% at $72.79, with a consensus price target of $85.54 and a 52-week range of $39.82 to $88.58.

Merus B.V. (NASDAQ: MRUS) will report the full dataset from the Phase 1 study of HER2 x HER3 MCLA-128. In the abstract, data is reported for 15 patients with HER2 amplified tumors, including eight metastatic breast cancer, four gastric, two ovarian and one colorectal cancer patients. Analysts believe these data are promising, given the heavily pretreated nature of the patients, who had a median of 5.5 prior lines of therapy. Shares of Merus were down 2.8% at $20.16, within a 52-week range of $7.26 to $33.63. The consensus price target is $31.57.