The Beginning of a Nektar Outperformance?

Nektar Therapeutics and Bristol-Myers Squibb Agreement

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) announced their agreement for a new joint development plan aimed at advancing the combination of Nektar’s bempegaldesleukin (bempeg) + Bristol-Myers’ Opdivo (nivolumab) into multiple new registrational trials.

The decision is based on a revision of the strategic collaboration agreement. It includes a new plan where both firms will expand the active clinical development program for bempeg plus nivolumab from three ongoing registrational trials in: first-line metastatic melanoma, first-line cisplatin-ineligible metastatic urothelial cancer and first-line metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) to include two additional registrational trials in adjuvant melanoma and in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Also, a Phase 1/2 dose-escalation and expansion study will be initiated to evaluate bempeg plus nivolumab in combination with axitinib in first-line RCC in order to support a future registrational trial. The costs for these studies will be shared based upon the cost-sharing outlined in terms of the original collaboration agreement.

As part of the new strategic collaboration agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will independently conduct, and fund, a Phase 1/2 dose optimization and expansion study in first-line non-small-cell lung cancer with bempeg and nivolumab.

Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of oncology development, Bristol-Myers Squibb said, “Bristol-Myers Squibb and Nektar view bempeg as an important asset and IL-2 as an important target. We look forward to expanding the registrational program currently underway for bempeg and are committed to the development of potential new combination therapies to address the unmet needs of patients living with cancer.”

Prohost Observation

What followers and fans of Nektar expected to happen, in January 2020, has happened. Bristol-Myers Squibb did not say goodbye to Nektar as the critics and sell-side investors believed they would. Nektar is scientifically solid and the firm has created many products that have been approved for alliances.

Bristol-Myers views bempeg as an important asset and is committed to the development of new combination therapies with its Opdivo immunotherapy product and Nektar’s bempegaldesleukin (bempeg).         Nektar

The news about advancing Opdivo – bempegaldesleukin (bempeg) boosted Nektar’s stock price which closed on Friday at $26.92, UP $5.33.

We believe this is the beginning of Nektar’s outperformance.  

Our next comprehensive “Biotechnology Evaluation” essay will tackle many firms’ histories while assessing the firms’ future performances which, of course, is based on observations as well as the criteria used for the evaluation.  

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