Incyte Corporation (NASDAQ: INCY) and Merck (NYSE:MRK) announced the decision to advance the clinical development program investigating the combination of epacadostat, Incyte’s investigational oral selective IDO1 inhibitor, with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy.
With the expansion of the clinical development program, the companies plan to initiate pivotal studies of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA in four additional tumors: non-small cell lung cancer, renal cell carcinoma, bladder cancer and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Presentations of data from the ongoing studies of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA, which support this decision, are expected at upcoming medical meetings.
“We are very pleased to announce the decision with Merck to initiate additional Phase 3 studies that will further evaluate the clinical utility of epacadostat in combination with KEYTRUDA,” said Steven Stein, M.D., Incyte’s Chief Medical Officer. “Data from across the ECHO development program for epacadostat continues to be accrued, including from the ECHO-202 Phase 2 cohorts in combination with KEYTRUDA which support the decision to move forward into pivotal studies beyond melanoma. We look forward to initiation of these new Phase 3 trials as we seek to help improve clinical outcomes for patients with these cancers.”
“The expansion of our clinical trial program with Incyte is an important component of our comprehensive approach to investigating the potential for KEYTRUDA in combination with promising compounds, such as epacadostat, to help make a difference in the lives of people with these cancers,” said Dr. Roy Baynes, senior vice president, head of clinical development, and Chief Medical Officer, Merck Research Laboratories. (Original Source)
Shares of Incyte are currently rising 7.11% to $116.01, or up $7.70 in pre-market trading Monday. INCY has a 1-year high of $109.95 and a 1-year low of $55. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $103.28 and its 200-day moving average is $90.68.
On the ratings front, Incyte has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on January 5, Jefferies Co. analyst Brian Abrahams maintained a Buy rating on INCY, with a price target of $108, which represents a slight downside potential from current levels. Separately, on December 5, RBC’s Simos Simeonidis maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $113.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Brian Abrahams and Simos Simeonidis have a yearly average return of 1.4% and a loss of -26.8% respectively. Abrahams has a success rate of 49% and is ranked #1758 out of 4350 analysts, while Simeonidis has a success rate of 29% and is ranked #4269.
Sentiment on the street is mostly bullish on INCY stock. Out of 11 analysts who cover the stock, 11 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $115.33, which represents a potential upside of 6% from where the stock is currently trading.
Incyte Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company, which focuses on the discovery, development, development, formulation, manufacturing and commercialization of proprietary therapeutics to treat serious unmet medical needs, primarily in oncology. Its product, Jakafi, a JAK1 and JAK2 inhibitor, is currently approved in the U.S. for the treatment of intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis and is in development as a potential treatment for other cancers.