Nektar Therapeutics ( NKTR ) recently
presented encouraging preclinical data on NKTR-214 at the 2013
annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Nektar is developing NKTR-214 (targets the IL-2 receptor complex)
as a potential treatment for multiple forms of cancer.
The preclinical data revealed that NKTR-214 was more effective
and exhibited greater tolerability compared to
Novartis ( NVS )
/ Prometheus Laboratories' Proleukin
(aldesleukin). The company mentioned in its press release that
NKTR-214 was more effective compared to Proleukin in spite of being
dosed with 20-fold less in total cytokine or being dosed only once
every fourteen days. NKTR-214 is also under development in other
pre-clinical toxicological and efficacy studies.
Nektar also presented a series of target-specific biomarkers
that were being developed in a phase III study on its etirinotecan
pegol for the treatment of breast cancer at the ASCO annual
meeting. The randomized, open-label, international BEACON (BrEAst
Cancer Outcomes with NKTR-102) phase III study is evaluating
etirinotecan pegol in patients who have received an anthracycline,
a taxane and capecitabine (ATC) in comparison to a comparator arm
which consists of an active single agent treatment of physician's
Nektar stated in its press release that multiple assays for
target-specific pharmacodynamic biomarkers for etirinotecan pegol
have been established. They are being measured under the BEACON
study. These biomarkers were identified from Circulating Tumor Cell
(CTC) samples, which were collected before patient treatment,
during treatment (at regular intervals) and also at the end of
The primary objective of the BEACON study is overall survival.
The study will also evaluate progression-free survival and
objective tumor response rates of etirinotecan pegol.
Nektar, a biopharmaceutical company, presently carries a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as Jazz
Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company ( JAZZ ) and
Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. ( CBST ) currently look
better positioned. While Jazz Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #1
(Strong Buy), Cubist Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).CUBIST PHARM (CBST): Free Stock Analysis ReportJAZZ PHARMACEUT (JAZZ): Free Stock Analysis
ReportNEKTAR THERAP (NKTR): Free Stock Analysis
ReportNOVARTIS AG-ADR (NVS): Free Stock Analysis
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