) provided an update on its pipeline at its Investor Day
Conference call. Multiple pipeline related events are lined up at
Nektar over the next few years.
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The company currently has five such programs that have either
been completed or are in phase III studies.
At the conference call Nektar's primary focus was on chronic pain
candidate NKTR-181. Nektar plans to advance NKTR-181 in phase III
studies by mid-2014. In phase II the candidate was studied for
the treatment of moderate-to-severe chronic pain in patients
suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. Although the candidate
failed to meet the primary objectives of the phase II study the
company is confident that the results will help them to design a
good phase III program.
Although patients treated with NKTR-181 showed a reduction in
pain scores throughout the randomized phase of the study,
patients under placebo failed to show the expected increase in
pain scores observed in enriched enrollment, randomized
withdrawal studies of a similar nature. The company noted that
the lack of a placebo rebound was unusual. As a result, the study
failed to meet its primary objective.
Apart from NKTR-181, Nektar touched upon other candidates like
naloxegol, Baxter 855, NKTR-192, NKTR-102 and NKTR-171 at the
conference call. Nektar has a partnership agreement with
) for naloxegol, which is being developed for the treatment of
opioid-induced constipation (OIC). The candidate has already been
filed in the U.S. and EU for the OIC indication.
Nektar is also gearing up to file for Baxter 855 (Hemophilia A),
Baxter International Inc.
). Nektar expects the candidate to be approved by 2016. The
company expects to report phase III data on NKTR-102 (metastatic
breast cancer) and NKTR-192 (acute pain) in late 2014 or early
We expect investor focus to remain on Nektar's pipeline going
Nektar, a biopharmaceutical company, presently carries a Zacks
Rank #3 (Hold). Other biopharma stocks such as
) currently look attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong