Nektar may sell off modestly on ASCO abstract, says JPMorgan
JPMorgan analyst Jessica Fye says that consistent with her expectation heading into last night's abstracts, Nektar Therapeutics' NKTR-214 update was not definitive as it relates to the ultimate profile for the product. Management emphasized in advance that follow up would be limited for the new patients in the abstract, and this was "abundantly evident" with 22 of the 30 Phase II patients having had only one scan, Fye tells investors in a research note. Overall, the analyst sees "bright spots" in the abstract from signs of durable responses, tolerability, and an "intriguing" signal in bladder cancer. She notes, however, that some investors will pick at the decreased overall response rates in the new patients in melanoma, renal cell carcinoma and lung. While the limited follow up in the abstract was well-telegraphed, Nektar shares trading modestly lower today would not be surprising, Fye writes. The analyst keeps an Overweight rating on the stock.