Fly News Breaks for February 3, 2020
Feb 3, 2020 | 05:28 EDT
Mizuho analyst Difei Yang upgraded Nektar Therapeutics to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $35, up from $21. The shares closed Friday down 40c to $19.89. The analyst sees a "good risk/reward" going into 2020 and 2021 with key pivotal Phase 3 readouts in melanoma and bladder cancer indications starting in Q4 of this year. Nektar's available data in melanoma and bladder looks superior based on complete response rates to the standard of care Opdivo/Yervoy, Yang tells investors in a research note. Multiple IL-2 programs are currently in development and recent deal activity suggests strong interest in cytokines such as IL-2, adds the analyst. Yang believes Nektar is in a "prime position" in this field with clinical data supporting the potential of engineered IL-2 in immuno-oncology. Further, manufacturing issues are likely behind the company while investor sentiment on the bempegaldesleukin program "remains quite skeptical," says the analyst.
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