Healthcare Business

Why This Early-Stage Autoimmune and Chronic Inflamatory Trial May Be a Big Hit

Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) shares made a handy gain on Monday after the firm announced updated results from its first-in-human Phase 1a study of NKTR-358 for the treatment of autoimmune and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Ultimately, the results demonstrated that NKTR-358 led to a marked and selective dose-dependent expansion in the numbers and proliferative capacity of T regulatory (Treg) cells.

For some quick background: NKTR-358 is designed to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions by correcting the immune system imbalance that results from reduced numbers and impaired function of immune-regulating Treg cells.

NKTR-358 works by targeting the interleukin-2 receptor complex to stimulate the proliferation and activation of Treg cells.

Brian Kotzin, M.D., senior vice president, Clinical Development and NKTR-358 Program lead at Nektar Therapeutics, commented:

We’re pleased to report that final results from our first-in-human Phase 1a study continue to support the positive safety and tolerability profile of NKTR-358, while reinforcing its selective and measurable impact on the numbers, expansion and activation of regulatory T cells or Tregs. Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases are marked by an imbalance in the body’s self-tolerance and self-regulatory immune pathways, and the ability of NKTR-358 to expand functional Tregs could help restore normal balance. The results support further studies into the potential of NKTR-358 as a treatment for several types of immune-mediated disorders.

Shares of Nektar traded up more than 9% early Monday at $21.89, in a 52-week range of $15.64 to $47.11. The consensus price target is $31.85.