ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARIA) announced the results of a series of preclinical studies on its investigational tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), brigatinib (AP26113) at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2015. Brigatinib is in development for the treatment of patients with anaplastic lymphoma kinase positive (ALK+) metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), who are resistant to crizotinib.

These data were included in two presentations: “Discovery of AP26113, a potent, orally active inhibitor of anaplastic lymphoma kinase and clinically relevant mutants” and “The potent ALK inhibitor AP26113 can overcome mechanisms of resistance to first and second-generation ALK TKIs in preclinical models.”

Oral Presentation on Brigatinib Discovery

An oral presentation describes, for the first time, the design and chemical structure of brigatinib, discovered using ARIAD’s structure-based drug design platform. With the goal of designing a selective ALK inhibitor with broad-based activity against crizotinib-resistant mutants, ARIAD scientists advanced a series of novel compounds culminating in the identification of brigatinib. Brigatinib incorporates unique chemical-design features, including the distinctive use of a recognition element that confers favorable pharmacologic properties. Brigatinib has at least 10-fold greater potency than crizotinib against ALK+ NSCLC cell lines and was broadly active against clinically relevant crizotinib-resistant mutants in preclinical models.

New Preclinical Data on Brigatinib in Poster Presentation

A poster presentation shows that brigatinib, at clinically achievable concentrations, has potent anti-tumor activity against a panel of 17 distinct ALK mutants known to confer resistance to other ALK inhibitors. In a separate study designed to model the occurrence of brain metastases in ALK+ lung cancer patients, brigatinib significantly reduced the tumor burden in mice with ALK+ brain tumors compared to the tumors in mice treated with crizotinib. Survival of brigatinib-treated mice was also markedly enhanced compared to the survival duration of crizotinib-treated mice.

“These preclinical data highlight key attributes of brigatinib, including its unique design features and its potential to address two major causes of resistance to other ALK inhibitors: ALK point mutations and the occurrence of brain metastases, ” said Timothy P. Clackson, Ph.D., president of research and development and chief scientific officer at ARIAD. “As the Phase 2 ALTA trial of brigatinib continues to enroll patients, we look forward to reporting additional clinical data on this internally discovered TKI.” (Original Source)

Shares of Ariad closed yesterday at $9.04 . ARIA has a 1-year high of $9.23 and a 1-year low of $4.90. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $8.42 and its 200-day moving average is $7.00.

On the ratings front, Ariad has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released yesterday, BMO analyst Jim Birchenough reiterated a Buy rating on ARIA, with a price target of $14, which represents a potential upside of 54.9% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on February 23, H.C. Wainwright’s Reni Benjamin reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $10.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jim Birchenough and Reni Benjamin have a total average return of 52.2% and -1.1% respectively. Birchenough has a success rate of 71.7% and is ranked #7 out of 3575 analysts, while Benjamin has a success rate of 36.5% and is ranked #2983.

In total, 2 research analysts have rated the stock with a Sell rating, 3 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 5 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $9.04 which is -1.0% under where the stock closed yesterday.

ARIAD Pharmaceuticals Inc is an oncology company. The Company is engaged in transforming the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines. It commercializes & develops products and product candidates including Iclusig, Brigatinib, and AP32788.