Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) and Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR) announced a new clinical collaboration to evaluate Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo (nivolumab) with Nektar’s investigational medicine, NKTR-214, as a potential combination treatment regimen in five tumor types and seven potential indications. Opdivo is a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor designed to overcome immune suppression. NKTR-214 is an investigational immuno-stimulatory therapy designed to expand specific cancer-fighting T cells and natural killer (NK) cells directly in the tumor micro-environment and increase expression of PD-1 on these immune cells.
“We are excited to explore the potential benefits in multiple types of cancer of the combination of Opdivo with Nektar’s innovative cancer immunotherapy,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., Head of Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We believe that a combination regimen which utilizes two different and complementary mechanisms designed to harness the body’s own immune system to fight cancer has the potential to provide new treatment options for patients.”
The Phase 1/2 clinical trials will evaluate the potential for the combination of Opdivo and NKTR-214 to show improved and sustained efficacy and tolerability above the current standard of care in melanoma, kidney, colorectal, bladder and non-small cell lung cancer patients. An initial dose-escalation trial is underway with Opdivo and NKTR-214.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Nektar will equally share costs of the combined therapy trials. Nektar will maintain its global commercial rights to NKTR-214.
“We’re very pleased to be collaborating with Bristol-Myers Squibb, a global leader in immuno-oncology, in order to advance quickly the development of NKTR-214 with a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor,” said Howard W. Robin, President and CEO of Nektar Therapeutics. “NKTR-214 is designed to grow tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in vivo and replenish the immune system, which is critically important as many patients battling cancer lack sufficient TIL populations to benefit from approved checkpoint inhibitor therapies. The combination of checkpoint inhibition with T cell growth could lead to synergistic effects that may provide a new treatment option for patients.” (Original Source)
Shares of Bristol Myers Squibb are currently trading at $55.84, up $0.36 or 0.65%. BMY has a 1-year high of $77.12 and a 1-year low of $55.02. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $57.82 and its 200-day moving average is $67.24.
On the ratings front, BMY has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report released today, Piper Jaffray analyst Richard Purkiss reiterated a Hold rating on BMY, with a price target of $62, which implies an upside of 11.8% from current levels. Separately, on September 20, Citigroup’s Andrew Baum maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $70.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Richard Purkiss and Andrew Baum have a total average return of 3.0% and 3.0% respectively. Purkiss has a success rate of 57% and is ranked #1797 out of 4183 analysts, while Baum has a success rate of 52% and is ranked #1776.
Overall, 10 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 6 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 $70.38 which is 26.9% above where the stock closed yesterday.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. engages in the discovery, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, and sale of biopharmaceutical products. Its pharmaceutical products include chemically-synthesized drugs or small molecules and an increasing portion of products produced from biological processes called biologics. Bristol-Myers biopharmaceutical research and development efforts in the affective (psychiatric) disorders, Alzheimer’s/dementia, cardiovascular, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), oncology, immunologic disorders and fibrotic disease areas.