) recently completed enrolling patients for the phase III BEACON
study (n=840) on its metastatic breast cancer candidate
etirinotecan pegol (NKTR-102). Nektar Therapeutics is evaluating
the candidate in comparison to a single-agent therapy of
physician's choice in patients suffering from locally recurrent
or metastatic breast cancer.
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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
Therapeutics plans to conduct an interim futility analysis on the
phase III study at the beginning of 2014 and expects top-line
survival data by the end of that year. Etirinotecan pegol had
performed encouragingly in the phase II study for the indication.
Apart from etirinotecan pegol, Nektar Therapeutics also has
NKTR-214 in its oncology pipeline. Nektar Therapeutics is
developing NKTR-214 (targets the IL-2 receptor complex) as a
potential treatment for multiple forms of cancer. Results from a
preclinical study on the candidate that were presented at the
2013 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology
(ASCO), revealed that NKTR-214 was more effective and exhibited
greater tolerability compared to
)/Prometheus Laboratories' Proleukin. The company mentioned in
its press release that NKTR-214 was more effective than Proleukin
in spite of being dosed with 20-fold less of total cytokine or
being dosed only once every fourteen days.
Nektar Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company, presently
carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as
Jazz Pharmaceuticals Public Limited Company
) currently look better positioned. While, Actelion carries a
Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Jazz Pharma carries a Zacks Rank #2