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Incyte (INCY) Reports Positive Data on Epacadostat/Keytruda

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Incyte Corporation (INCY - Free Report) announced that the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) published an abstract containing new and updated data from the ongoing phase I/II ECHO-202 trial on epacadostat.

The ECHO-202 study (NCT02178722) is evaluating the safety and efficacy of Incyte’s selective IDO1 enzyme inhibitor epacadostat in combination with Merck & Co.’s (MRK - Free Report) Keytruda in patients with advanced melanoma.

Data from the study revealed robust and durable responses in patients with advanced melanoma treated with the combination of epacadostat and Keytruda.

Across all efficacy-evaluable advanced melanoma patients, median progression-free survival (PFS) was 12.4 months, with PFS rates of 70%, 54%, and 50% at 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months respectively. Median PFS was not reached for patients who were treatment-naïve for advanced disease, with landmark PFS rates of 68%, 52% and 52% at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months, respectively.

The ECHO clinical trial program is being conducted to investigate the efficacy and safety of epacadostat as a core component of combination therapy in oncology. Incyte is evaluating epacadostat in combination with PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibitors in a broad range of solid tumor types as well as hematological malignancies.

ECHO-301 (NCT02752074), a phase III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is investigating Keytruda in combination with epacadostat or placebo for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma, is also ongoing and fully recruited.

Meawnhile, Incyte has extended its collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Free Report) evaluating epacadostat in combination with Opdivo in pivotal studies in two tumor types (planned initiation before 2017 end).

In 2014, Incyte signed clinical trial collaboration agreements with Merck, Bristol-Myers, and Roche Holding AG (RHHBY - Free Report) among others to evaluate epacadostat with their respective anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1 agents in phase I/II studies.

Incyte’s stock gained 38.7% in the year so far compared with the industry’s 15.3% gain.

We believe the agreements not only validate the company’s research approach, they also enhance the company‘s financial position as Incyte stands to earn revenues in the form of milestone payments and royalties on successful development and commercialization.

However, in June 2017, Incyte and Roche decided to end the ECHO-110 trial of epacadostat plus Tecentriq for further enrolment because of slow study recruitment.

Zacks Rank

Incyte currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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