Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR - Free Report) has announced initiation of dosing in a phase I/II study, evaluating the combination of its two novel immuno-oncology agents, NKTR-262 and NKTR-214, on patients with advanced solid tumors.
While NKTR-262 is a toll-like receptor agonist designed to invite an innate immune response to fight the cancer, NKTR-214 is an immuno-stimulatory CD122-biased agonist.
Shares of Nektar have soared 72.1% so far this year, substantially outperforming the industry’s decrease of 2.2%.
The phase I/II REVEAL study is an open-label, multicenter dose escalation program, designed to evaluate the NKTR-262/NKTR-214 combination regimen, administered as an initial intratumoral (directly into the tumor) injection of NKTR-262 followed by an intravenous (IV) infusion of NKTR-214. The company believes that this combination therapy will enable it to provide an alternative treatment option to its patients.
Moreover, the company also plans to assess this NKTR-262/NKTR-214 combination with Bristol-Myers’ (BMY - Free Report) Opdivo (nivolumab) in the given patient population.
We remind investors that in September 2016, Nektar entered into a clinical collaboration agreement with Bristol-Myers under which, Nektar’s NKTR-214 will be examined in combination with the latter’s Opdivo across nine tumor types including melanoma, kidney, colorectal, bladder and non-small cell lung cancer plus 20 potential indications in phase I/II trials.
Meanwhile, in September 2017, the company announced initiation of phase I/II PROPEL study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of NKTR-214 in combination with Roche’s (RHHBY - Free Report) Tecentriq (atezolizumab) and Merck’s (MRK - Free Report) Keytruda (pembrolizumab).
It is also important to note that Nektar is developing several other candidates across important therapeutic areas including oncology, pain, anti-infectives and immunology aong others. The company has made a significant progress with its lead candidate Onzeald (formerly known as NKTR-102), currently under accelerated assessment in the EU for treating adults with advanced breast cancer as well as brain metastases. A response is anticipated within the first half of 2018.
A couple of other interesting candidates is NKTR-181 and NKTR-358. While NKTR-181 is being analyzed in a phase III program for treatment of chronic pain, the company initiated a phase I clinical study on NKTR-358 to treat a wide range of auto-immune diseases and inflammatory disorders.
Nektar carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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