Healthcare Business

Why This Late-Stage Kidney Cancer Study Could Be Huge

Exelixis Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) stock jumped early on Monday after the company, in conjunction with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY), announced positive late-stage results from its kidney cancer study.

Specifically, the results come from the pivotal Phase 3 CheckMate-9ER trial evaluating Opdivo in combination with Cabometyx compared to sunitinib in previously untreated advanced or metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC).

The study met its primary endpoint of progression-free survival at final analysis, as well as the secondary endpoints of overall survival at a pre-specified interim analysis, and objective response rate.

Some quick background: RCC is the most common type of kidney cancer in adults, accounting for more than 140,000 deaths worldwide each year. RCC is approximately twice as common in men as in women, with the highest rates of the disease in North America and Europe.

Dr. Toni Choueiri, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg, Professors of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, commented:

The results from the pivotal CheckMate -9ER trial clearly demonstrate the combination of cabozantinib plus nivolumab provides a clinically meaningful benefit in the key efficacy measures of progression-free survival and overall survival for previously untreated kidney cancer patients. Preliminary assessment of the data shows the combination of a 40mg dose of cabozantinib plus nivolumab demonstrated a favorable safety profile. If approved, this combination may become an important new first-line option for patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. We look forward to presenting detailed results at an upcoming congress.

Exelixis stock traded up almost 21% at $23.50 early Monday, in a 52-week range of $13.67 to $23.00. The consensus price target is $24.46.

Bristol-Myers Squibb stock traded at $62.08 and has a 52-week range of $42.48 to $68.34. The consensus price target is $70.45.