Healthcare Business

Why Nektar Therapeutics Shares Are Tumbling

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) saw its shares get nearly halved in Monday’s session after the company released preliminary data from its early stage cancer study. The preliminary results were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) over the weekend.

The preliminary data come from the ongoing PIVOT Phase 1/2 Study, which is evaluating the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.’s (NYSE: BMY) Opdivo (nivolumab) with Nektar’s investigational medicine, NKTR-214.

Preliminary results from the ongoing PIVOT study demonstrated that prespecified efficacy criteria were achieved in three tumor types: first-line melanoma, first-line renal cell carcinoma and first-line urothelial cancer.

Ulimately, NKTR-214 in combination with Opdivo appeared to show clinical evidence that patients responded, when Opdivo wasn’t be able to do it alone.

As a result, Nektar and Bristol-Myers Squibb will initiate a Phase 3 registrational trial in first-line advanced melanoma patients in the third quarter of this year. Pivotal studies also are being designed in renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cancer.

Shedding some light on why shares are dropping, Fierce Biotech explained:

Top-line data from the phase 1/2 PIVOT trial, released in abstract form last month, sparked a fall in Nektar’s share price after it pointed to a reduction in overall response rate (ORR) for three cancers compared to an earlier readout last year. And it seems the fresh data reported at the ASCO meeting over the weekend didn’t lay those concerns to rest.

Shares of Nektar were last seen down about 41% at $53.22, with a 52-week trading range of $17.51 to $111.36.

Bristol-Myers shares were about 4% at $50.82, and the 52-week range is $49.96 to $70.05.

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