Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR) presented preclinical data on its oncology candidates, NKTR-102 (a novel next-generation topoisomerase I inhibitor) and NKTR-214, at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (:AACR).
Results showed that NKTR-102 was successful in reducing the size and number of brain metastases compared to placebo and Pfizer’s (PFE) Camptosar (Irinotecan). The candidate also prolonged survival in breast cancer patients with brain metastases compared to placebo and irinotecan.
Nektar is currently evaluating NKTR-102 in a phase III (:BEACON) study for the treatment of patients suffering from locally recurrent or metastatic breast cancer, who have received an anthracycline, a taxane and capecitabine (ATCV). Nektar expects to report top-line phase III data on NKTR-102 in early 2015. As per American Cancer Society, 2007 Global Cancer Facts and Figures report, over 1 million women around the world are diagnosed with breast cancer every year.
Nektar also presented preclinical data from NKTR-214 which uses the company’s polymer conjugate technology. Results showed that complete responses were produced in many animals with a pre-dosing of anti-CTLA 4 followed by NKTR-214 compared to dosing either agent alone or the combination simultaneously. The pre-dosing of anti-CTLA 4 followed by NKTR-214 also helped in lowering side effects.
We are encouraged by Nektar’s oncology portfolio. However, companies like Roche (RHHBY) have a strong presence in the oncology market. We expect investor focus to remain on Nektar’s pipeline.
Nektar currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (QCOR). The stock carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
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