Biotech stocks rebound or tumble as new clinical data is shared ahead of the big cancer gathering

Shares of companies developing cancer therapies moved in morning trade on Friday as biotechs and researchers shared new clinical findings ahead of next week’s annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Here’s a recap of Friday’s big premarket moves:

  • ACLX by Arcellx Inc.,
    The stock rose 11.9% after an abstract provided updated data for its CART-ddBCMA. Analysts at SVB Securities said in a statement Friday they are pleased to see the experimental therapy “continues to show a competitive efficacy signal in 24 evaluable relapsed/refractory patients.”

  • IOVA by Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc.
    The stock fell 54.0% to a five-year low the day after the company released data from a late-stage clinical trial for its melanoma therapy candidate. The data showed an objective response rate of 29% in a patient cohort. However, the stock plummeted in after-hours trading on Thursday. Mara Goldstein, an analyst at Mizuho Americas, attributed the price decline to the difference in mean duration of response in different patient groups. “There is a disconnect between the results and the stock price response,” she told investors on Friday.

  • Mirati Therapeutics Inc MRTX The stock fell 41.6% to a four-year low the day after the company announced its experimental treatment reduced tumors in 43% of patients with advanced lung cancer. This is better data than that reported for Amgen Inc AMGN Lumakras, which was approved in the US a year ago. Stifel analyst Benjamin Burnett said he thinks the stock fell due to the lower than expected median response time compared to Lumakras’ median response time. “In our view, MRTX is more likely to be successful here than AMGN,” he wrote in a note to investors. “While the stock strays from a negative second-line update, we recommend focusing later in the year on what we believe to be a more important front-line catalyst.”

  • SWTX by SpringWorks Therapeutics Inc.,
    The stock fell 55.6% to a record low after the company on Thursday released data from a Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating nirogacestat in combination with GlaxoSmithKline’s GSK.
    Blenrep in patients with multiple myeloma. Analysts at JP Morgan called the data “Clear win/home run‘, but noted that it is too early to draw any conclusions about the cohort extension data. This could “potentially lead to a backlog of the program pending an update later in the year,” they wrote.

  • ZYME by Zymeworks Inc.,
    The stock rallied as much as 5.2% before the day after data was released that a combination of zanidatamab with docetaxel (a common chemotherapy regimen) as a first-line treatment for advanced HER2 breast cancer achieved a 90.5% objective response rate , reversed course and fell 1.2 % . Andrew Berens, an analyst at SVB Securities, said the data places the experimental combination in the same category as Roche Holding AG’s ROG.
    Herceptin and Perjeta with docetaxel. “Ultimately, that’s what we think [first-line] Chest opportunity could represent a significant opportunity for ZYME and we attribute $852 [million] in the peak of WW sales in the indication,” he told investors on Friday.

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF XBI,
fell 39.6% for the year, while the S&P 500 SPX,
has decreased by 13.78%. Biotech stocks rebound or tumble as new clinical data is shared ahead of the big cancer gathering

Brian Lowry

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