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AVEO Posts Data on Ficlatuzumab From Pancreatic Cancer Study

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AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc. AVEO and partner Biodesix, Inc. presented data from a phase Ib study evaluating ficlatuzumab in combination with nab-paclitaxel and Eli Lilly’s (LLY - Free Report) Gemzar (gemcitabine) for addressing previously untreated patients with metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common type of pancreatic cancer.

The investigator-sponsored early-stage study was designed to find the maximum tolerated dose of ficlatuzumab when combined with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel for treating the given patient population.

Per the press release, secondary outcome measures included response rate and progression free survival. Total 24 patients were enrolled. The ficlatuzumab combination was related to a promising durable response rate relative to expectations for gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel alone including a partial response rate of 29% and 92% rate of disease control (partial response + stable disease).

The results were announced at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

Shares of AVEO were up 2% following this presser on Monday. However, the stock has plunged 65.1% in the past year, underperforming the industry’s decrease of 5%.

Ficlatuzumab is a potent hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) inhibitory antibody product candidate.

Apart from pancreatic cancer, AVEO is developing ficlatuzumab for treating squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). AVEO and Biodesix are also evaluating ficlatuzumab in combination with cytarabine in patients with relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

In November 2019, AVEO and Biodesix initiated the phase II CyFi-2 study evaluating ficlatuzumab in combination with high-dose cytarabine versus high-dose cytarabine alone in patients with relapsed/refractory AML.

Notably, AVEO and Biodesix have a worldwide agreement to develop and commercialize ficlatuzumab.

Zacks Rank & Other Stocks to Consider

AVEO currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other top-ranked stocks in the biotech sector include PDL BioPharma, Inc. PDLI and Denali Therapeutics Inc. DNLI, both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

PDL BioPharma’s earnings estimates have been revised 37.5% upward for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has inched up 3.2% in the past year.

Denali’s loss per share estimates have narrowed 0.4% for 2020 over the past 60 days. The stock has surged 48.7% in the past year.

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