"Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR - US$ 4.49) 1-Overweight Specialty Pharmaceuticals Company Update NKTR-102 Gains Some Deserved Visibility
• We continue to expect increased investor appreciation for Nektar's growing proprietary pipeline, in particular NKTR-102, given its promising, albeit, early-stage trial results & potential broad spectrum of tumor targets. While this appreciation may take some time, we believe that current valuation translates to an attractive risk/reward profile. Summary
• Yesterday, Nektar announced positive Phase 1 results for NKTR-102 (PEG- irinotecan) in advanced cancer patients whose cancers have advanced on other therapies. • Most encouraging to us were comments made by the lead investigator of the Phase 1 trial, who stated that response rates were well above the 4% level typical of single compounds in Phase 1, with repeat evidence of activity in a number of different tumor types. • Nektar also announced plans for a Phase 2 study for NKTR-102 in a subset of advanced colorectal cancer patients, a Phase 2 trial in metastatic breast cancer & another in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, all expected to begin in 2H08. Stock Rating Target Price
gladpick - Thanks for posting the Lehman research piece. I found the following statement particularly telling:
"Most encouraging to us were comments made by the lead investigator of the Phase 1 trial"
Dr. Von Hoff was blunt with his optimism based on what he had personally seen with patients whose cancer responded positively to NKTR-102 after failing on existing approved drugs. Dr. Von Hoff also did not hedge his opinion that the likelihood of NKTR-102 ultimately being approved is high. This is a guy who has been involved in clinical testing of many cancer drugs that have been approved and have gone on to commercial success. I think he's an asset to Nektar in terms of helping determine the best course of action to gain approval of NKTR-102 as well as being a respected voice to potential partners and the investment community.
One comment that Dr. Von Hoff made that I found interesting was that 80% of cancer drugs are prescribed for off label indications. This number surprised me. I wonder how the oncologists who do this get around the liability of prescribing drugs that haven't been approved by the FDA for these off-label indications?