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Aileron Inks Collaboration Deal With Pfizer for Cancer Combo

Aileron Therapeutics, Inc. ALRN announced that it has signed a clinical trial collaboration deal with Pfizer PFE for developing a combo drug to treat amplified cancers. The study will evaluate Aileron’s lead candidate ALRN-6924 in combination with Pfizer’s Ibrance (palbociclib) for treating MDM2-amplified cancers.

Shares of Aileron were up almost 10% following this news on Tuesday. However, the stock has plummeted 79.9% so far this year, wider than the industry’s decline 18.2%.


Aileron plans to start enrolling patients with solid tumors in this phase Ib study during the first quarter of 2019. The company will conduct the clinical study while Pfizer will supply the drug.

Notably, this combo drug demonstrated an enhanced antitumor activity and delayed tumor growth in animal studies over single agents alone. The company believes that the combination will reduce cancer cell growth and benefit patients afflicted with a variety of different cancers.

ALRN-6924 is a cell-permeating peptide that disrupts the interaction of the two primary p53 suppressor proteins, namely MDMX and MDM2. The candidate targets the tumor suppressor p53 for the treatment of different types of cancers. Ibrance inhibits two enzymes, CDK4 and CDK6, that play key roles in the cell cycle.

Along with this study, Aileron is also evaluating ALRN-6924 under several early/mid stage studies. A phase IIa study for treating peripheral T-cell lymphoma, a phase I study as a monotherapy for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and advanced myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) and another phase Ib study for addressing AML/MDS in combination with cytosine arabinoside or Ara-C.

Ibrance is already approved as a combination therapy for the treatment of breast cancer. Pfizer is exploring the possibility of expanding Ibrance’s label to include the recurrent and subsequent early breast cancer apart from several non-breast cancer indications like pancreatic plus head and neck cancers.

Zacks Rank & Stocks to Consider

Aileron currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the same sector include Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ALXN and Gilead Sciences, Inc. GILD, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Alexion’s earnings estimates have been revised 5.3% upward for 2018 and 2.1% for 2019 over the past 60 days. The stock has inched up 1.2% year to date.

Gilead Sciences’ earnings estimates have moved 5% north for 2018 and 4.6% for 2019 over the past 60 days.

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