Why Mirati Therapeutics Is Sinking

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Mirati Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: MRTX) shares dropped on Monday after the company announced updated positive clinical data from its midstage study in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The data were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress in Germany.

Specifically, the firm announced updated data from its ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of sitravatinib in combination with Opdivo (nivolumab) in NSCLC patients with documented progression on prior immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

A few of the highlights from the study:

  • 45/56 of evaluable patients demonstrated tumor reductions.
  • 18/56 of evaluable patients demonstrated tumor reductions of greater than 30%.
  • 16/56 of evaluable patients achieved a Partial Response (PR) or Complete Response (CR).
  • 26/56 evaluable patients remained on treatment at the time of data cut-off including 8 responding patients.

Based on guidance received from the FDA, Mirati plans to initiate a Phase 3 randomized clinical trial in second-line patients comparing the combination of sitravatinib plus a checkpoint inhibitor to docetaxel in patients whose tumors have progressed on prior checkpoint inhibitor therapy.

Ticiana Leal, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Thoracic Oncology Program Leader at the University of Wisconsin, commented:

To date, the combination of sitravatinib and nivolumab has demonstrated a significant number of durable responses in patients with advanced NSCLC who experienced disease progression following prior checkpoint inhibitor therapy, which is one of the most challenging clinical scenarios that we currently face for this patient population. The results of the study are encouraging as it continues to show a clinical benefit for these patients and has a favorable safety profile.

Shares of Mirati were last seen down nearly 20% at $32.06, with a consensus analyst price target of $57.89 and a 52-week trading range of $12.26 to $65.35.

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