Nektar Therapeutics and Pfizer Team Up in Cancer Collaboration

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Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) shares dipped on Tuesday after the company announced that it would be collaborating with Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) to evaluate several combination regimens in multiple cancer settings, including metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

The collaboration will evaluate Nektar’s lead immuno-oncology candidate, the CD122-biased agonist NKTR-214 with avelumab, talazoparib or enzalutamide.

Under the new collaboration, Pfizer will initiate a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial to evaluate the anti-cancer activity of the combined agents, avelumab, talazoparib and NKTR-214, and separately, avelumab, enzalutamide and NKTR-214. Nektar, Pfizer and their respective partners will each maintain global commercial rights to their respective medicines.

Mary Tagliaferri, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president of Clinical Development at Nektar, commented:

We are excited to partner with Pfizer to evaluate the potential benefit of the combination of NKTR-214 with agents targeting multiple mechanisms in the Company’s portfolio for patients with a diagnosis of prostate and head and neck cancer. Importantly, this new clinical collaboration will allow us to understand how we might access multiple immuno-oncology and targeted modalities simultaneously to treat cancer in complementary and novel ways.

Excluding Tuesday’s move, Nektar Therapeutics has outperformed the broad markets, with the stock up 68% in the past 52 weeks. However, in 2018 alone, the stock is down 33%.

Shares of Nektar were last seen down over 9% at $36.28, in a 52-week range of $24.94 to $111.36. The consensus analyst price target is $89.38.

Pfizer traded at $43.35 a share. The 52-week trading range is $33.20 to $45.81, and the consensus price target is $43.53.