After a stellar rise in the past 12 months, Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) stock fell more than 40% on June 4, which wiped out close to $6 billion of the company’s market cap. This drop was after Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) and Nektar reported preliminary results from the currently ongoing phase one and two study for NKTR-214 in combination with Opdivo for treating patients with stage four metastatic melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and urothelial cancers. The price of Bristol-Myers Squibb stock also witnessed selling pressure and fell almost 3% on June 4.
At present, enrolment is underway for the phase two stage of the pivot study in more than 400 patients suffering from renal cell, urothelial, non-small cell lung, and triple negative breast cancers. These results showed that prespecified efficacy criteria were achieved in three tumor types. Consequently, Nektar Therapeutics and Bristol Myers Squibb will initiate a phase three registrational trial in the third quarter in first-line advanced melanoma patients. Additionally, they are also designing pivotal studies in renal cell carcinoma and urothelial cancer.
In stage four metastatic treatment of naive 1L melanoma patients, pre-specified efficacy criteria were met for objective response rate (or ORR) in stage one with 85% of patients achieving either partial or complete response.
In stage four metastatic treatment of naive 1L renal cell carcinoma patients, 64% achieved a partial response. For stage four metastatic treatment naive 1L urothelial carcinoma patients, 60% achieved either a partial or complete response. The data showed the conversion of PD-L1 negative status at baseline to PD-L1 positive status at week three in 53% of patients. Of these, 78% of patients achieved clinical benefit.
Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo is a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor that is designed to overcome immune suppression. Nektar’s NKTR-214 is an investigational immune stimulation therapy that is designed to expand and activate specific cancer-fighting T cells and NK cells directly in the tumor microenvironment.
In the next part of the series, we’ll take a look at the revenue trend of Nektar Therapeutics.