U.S. markets open in 8 hours 58 minutes

Infinity's (INFI) IPI-549 in Focus in a Crowded Cancer Space

Zacks Equity Research

Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. INFI is currently focusing on the development of its lead immuno-oncology candidate, IPI-549. It is an orally administered treatment that selectively inhibits phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K)-gamma.

The company is evaluating IPI-549 as a monotherapy and in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s BMY Opdivo in a phase I/Ib study (MARIO-1) in about 200 patients with advanced solid tumors. The collaboration with Bristol-Myers has provided Infinity a strong partner with expertise in the field of immuno-oncology. Further, it would allow Infinity to expedite the development of IPI-549.

In September, Infinity also initiated two studies on IPI-549. The company initiated a phase II, MARIO-3 study in collaboration with Roche AG RHHBY, evaluating IPI-549 in combination with Tecentriq and Abraxane (nab-paclitaxel) in front-line triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), and in combination with Tecentriq.

Separately, Arcus Biosciences RCUS initiated a phase I/Ib study in collaboration with Infinity, evaluating IPI-549 combined with AB298, Arcus's dual adenosine receptor antagonist, and Doxil, a chemotherapy, in patients with advanced TNBC.

Infinity is evaluating IPI-549 for various diseases by partnering with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Although there has been significant progress in the treatment of cancer, there is a need for additional treatment options. NSCLC, melanoma and SCCHN account for more than 17% of all new cancer cases in the United States. Pre-clinical data demonstrated that IPI-549 may enhance the effects of checkpoint inhibitors and reverse tumor resistance to checkpoint inhibitors by targeting immune cells and altering the immune-suppressive microenvironment, promoting an anti-tumor immune response. As such, IPI-549 represents a potentially complementary approach to restoring anti-tumor immunity in combination with other immunotherapies like checkpoint inhibitors. If successfully developed, approval of IPI-549 will be a huge boost for Infinity.

However, the company has no approved product in its portfolio at the moment, which is a concern.  Infinity is likely to face competition in the immuno-oncology arena from companies like AstraZeneca, Celgene, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and Eli Lilly, among others.

Wall Street’s Next Amazon

Zacks EVP Kevin Matras believes this familiar stock has only just begun its climb to become one of the greatest investments of all time. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in pure genius.

Click for details >>

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Roche Holding AG (RHHBY) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (INFI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (RCUS) : Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.