Nektar’s Q2 Press Release

Nektar’s Press Release

Nektar Therapeutics Results for Q2 of 2019

Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Cash and investments in marketable securities at June 30, 2019 were $1.8 billion as compared to $1.9 billion at December 31, 2018

“Nektar is making good progress advancing our multiple programs in immuno-oncology, immunology, and pain,” said Howard W. Robin, President, and CEO of Nektar. “With our partner Bristol-Myers Squibb, although we’ve experienced some delays, we are working to finalize the development program for bempegaldesleukin in combination with nivolumab in a number of tumor types and which are designed to support registration for this unique I-O doublet. We have a number of registrational trials already started and we recently received a breakthrough designation from FDA for bempeg and nivo in the setting of first-line untreated metastatic melanoma.

Our partner Eli Lilly will be initiating several new studies later this year for NKTR-358, our T regulatory stimulator candidate. These studies will expand the program with additional indications beyond lupus.  We recently filed an IND with the FDA for NKTR-255, our IL-15 agonist, and will initiate our first-in-human clinical study this quarter in patients with relapsed, refractory NHL and in patients with multiple myeloma.” 

Revenues in the second quarter of 2019 were  $23.3 million as compared to $1.088 billion in the second quarter of 2018.

Year-to-date revenue for 2019:  $51.5 million as compared to $1.126 billion in the first half of 2018. Revenue was lower in the second quarter and the first half of 2019 as compared to the same periods in 2018 primarily because of the recognition of $1.06 billion of license revenue from the Bristol-Myers Squibb collaboration agreement in the second quarter of 2018. 

Total operating costs and expenses in the second quarter of 2019 were $134.3 million as compared to $114.1 million in the second quarter of 2018. Total operating costs and expenses in the first half of 2019 were $283.2 million as compared to $238.9 million in the first half of 2018. Total operating costs and expenses increased primarily as a result of increased research and development (R&D) expense.

R&D expense in the second quarter of 2019 was $106.7 million as compared to $88.3 million in the second quarter of 2018. For the first half of 2019, R&D expense was $225.1 million as compared to $187.8 million in the first half of 2018. R&D expense was higher in the second quarter and first half of 2019 as compared to the same periods in 2018 primarily because of expenses for our pipeline programs, including the continued development of bempegaldesleukin in Phase 2 and registrational studies and related manufacturing costs, costs related to Phase 1 clinical studies of NKTR-358 and IND-enabling activities for NKTR-255. These increases were partially offset by cost decreases related to the NKTR-181 New Drug Application and NKTR-181 pre-commercial manufacturing which were higher during the second quarter and first half of 2018.

General and administrative (G&A) expense was $22.6 million in the second quarter of 2019 as compared to $20.3 million in the second quarter of 2018. G&A expense in the first half of 2019 was $47.6 million as compared to $38.9 million in the first half of 2018. G&A expense was higher in the second quarter and first half of 2019 as compared to the same periods in 2018 primarily due to costs related to commercialization readiness activities for NKTR-181 and increased non-cash stock-based compensation.

Net loss in the second quarter of 2019 was $109.9 million or $0.63 basic and diluted loss per share as compared to a net income of $971.5 million or $5.33 diluted earnings per share in the second quarter of 2018. Net loss in the first half of 2019 was $228.4 million or $1.31 basic and diluted loss per share as compared to a net income of $875.7 million or $4.91 diluted earnings per share in the first half of 2018.

Second Quarter 2019 and Recent Business Highlights

In August 2019,  the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the combination NKTR-214 (bempegaldesleukin) + Opdivo (nivolumab) for patients with previously untreated unresectable or metastatic melanoma. 

In July, for NKTR-181, Nektar received a General Advice Letter from FDA that stated that it is postponing product-specific advisory committee meetings for opioid analgesics, including the one previously scheduled for August 21, 2019 to discuss the NDA for the NKTR-181 product, while the agency continues to consider a number of scientific and policy issues relating to this class of drugs. The FDA indicated that it will continue to review the NDA for NKTR-181 according to the existing Prescription Drug User Fee Act (“PDUFA”) timeline; however, because of the postponed Advisory Committee Meeting, it is possible the agency may not be able to meet the PDUFA goal date of August 29, 2019. 

In June, Nektar presented data from a first-in-human Phase 1a study evaluating single-ascending doses of NKTR-358, supporting the development of the candidate as a first-in-class T regulatory cell stimulator for the treatment of autoimmune and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

In June, Nektar presented data for NKTR-181 at the 81st Annual Scientific Meeting of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence. The data presented identified low rates of withdrawal and a low risk of abuse potential, diversion or addiction associated with NKTR-181 in Phase 3 trials according to the MADDERS® system, the first standardized system for discerning abuse-related events. 

In June, Nektar presented biomarker and clinical data from the ongoing Phase 2 PIVOT-02 study for bempegaldesleukin in combination with Opdivo (nivolumab) at the 2019 ASCO Annual Meeting. Clinical data presented included 12 month follow-up for the Stage 4 first-line melanoma patient cohort and showed a deepening and durability of response over time. Registrational studies in melanoma, renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cancer are currently recruiting patients. 

In May, Nektar announced the formation of Inheris Biopharma, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary responsible for launch preparation and commercialization for NKTR-181, a novel, first-in-class, investigational opioid molecule. NKTR-181 is currently under review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

The company also announced the following upcoming presentations during the second half of 2019:

CAR-TCR Summit, Boston, MA 

Presentation: “Utilizing Next Generation Cytokines to Enhance Efficacy and Durability of CAR-Ts” 

Presenter: Mario Marcondes, M.D., Nektar Therapeutics

Session:  Enhancing Efficacy with Combinations 

Date and Time: September 11, 2019, 6:18 – 6:48 p.m. EDT 

Oxford Global 2nd Annual Advances In Immuno-Oncology USA Congress, San Diego, CA 

Presentation: “Harnessing Potent Cytokine Agonist Pathways by Polymer Engineering to Develop Novel Immune Therapeutic Agents”

Presenter: Loui Madakamutil, Ph.D., Nektar Therapeutics

Date and Time: October 9, 2019, 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. PDT

American Conference on Pharmacometrics (ACoP) 2019, Orlando, FL 

Poster Title:” NKTR-262 Released Below Quantifiable Levels of TLR 7/8 Agonist in Human Plasma in Phase 1b/2 Clinical Study as Predicted A-Priori by PK Modeling and Scaling to Humans”, Bhasi, K., et al. 

 October 20 – 23, 2019 

Conference Call to Discuss Second Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Nektar conference call to review the results was on Thursday, August 8, 2019.

This press release and a live Webcast of the conference call can be accessed through a link posted on home page and investors section at Nektar’s website The web broadcast of the conference call will be available for replay through Monday, September 9, 2019.

To access the conference call, follow these instructions:

Dial: (877) 881-2183 (U.S.) or (970) 315-0453 (international)
Passcode: 2879328 (Nektar Therapeutics is the host)

About Nektar Therapeutics

Nektar Therapeutics is a research-based, development-stage biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover and develop innovative medicines to address the unmet medical needs of patients. Our R&D pipeline of new investigational medicines includes treatments for cancer, auto-immune disease and chronic pain. We leverage Nektar’s proprietary and proven chemistry platform in the discovery and design of our new therapeutic candidates. Nektar is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional operations in Huntsville, Alabama and Hyderabad, India.  =

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements 

This press release contains uncertain or forward-looking statements which can be identified by words such as: “advance,” “planned,” “potential,” “continue,” “may,” “will” and similar references to future periods. Examples of forward-looking statements include, among others, statements we make regarding the potential therapeutic benefits of and future development plans for our investigational products [including bempegaldesleukin (“bempeg,” “NKTR-214”), NKTR-181, NKTR-358, NKTR-262 and NKTR-255], the timing of a potential launch for NKTR-181, and the results of clinical trials.  Forward-looking statements are neither historical facts nor assurances of future performance. Instead, they are based only on our current beliefs, expectations, and assumptions and are subject to inherent uncertainties, risks and changes in circumstances that are difficult to predict and many of which are outside of our control. Our actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements and you should not rely on such statements. Important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements include: (i) the timing of the commencement or end of clinical studies and the availability of clinical data may be delayed or unsuccessful due to regulatory delays, slower than anticipated patient enrollment, manufacturing challenges, changing standards of care, evolving regulatory requirements, clinical trial design, clinical outcomes, and enrollment competition; (ii) the timing and probability of regulatory approval, if any, for NKTR-181 is uncertain and difficult to predict; (iii) scientific discovery of new medical breakthroughs is an inherently uncertain process and the future success of applying our technology platform to drug candidates [such as bempegaldesleukin (“bempeg,” “NKTR-214”), NKTR-262, NKTR-358, and NKTR-255] is therefore highly uncertain and unpredictable and one or more of these programs may fail; (iv) patents may not issue from our patent applications for our drug candidates, patents that have issued may not be enforceable, or additional intellectual property licenses from third parties may be required; and (v) certain other important risks and uncertainties set forth in Nektar’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 9, 2019. Any forward-looking statement made by us in this press release is based only on information currently available to us and speaks only as of the date on which it is made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement. 


Jennifer Ruddock of Nektar Therapeutics;
415-482-558; Jodi Sievers of Nektar Therapeutics

For Media:

Dan Budwick of 1AB
[email protected]

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