Nektar Therapeutics Inc. | $NKTR Stock | Shares Crash 39%, Cancer Drug Shows Little Effectiveness 

Nektar Therapeutics Inc.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: NKTR) 


Share price dropped 39%, their worst point in more than a decade, to exchange hands $54.65 a.m. in New York.

The drop came after the San Francisco-based biopharmaceutical company reported underwhelming results in its kidney and melanoma cancer candidate drug known as Opdivo.

The company was testing the safety and efficacy of the drug in patients with stage 4 urothelial, metastatic melanoma, renal cell carcinoma cancers. J.P. Morgan analysts also lowered their price target on NKTR stock, to between $78 and $90 per share.

Nektar released the preliminary results of the drug over the weekend during the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Since then, the stock has lost more than a third of its value after the drug’s mid trial responses rates took a dip.

The company’s management sought to assure investors that things would get better as patients included in the second part of the trial stay on for an extended period.

This study highlights the potential of BXCL701 to augment the effect of other immunotherapies such as NKTR-214 and anti-PD-1 to produce an improved, durable anti-cancer response. The triplet therapy leverages the power of both innate and adaptive immunity to attain complete tumor regression in these preclinical studies by recruiting increased levels of immuno-stimulatory cytokines, effector T cells and NK cells while reducing the cytokines involved in immune evasion. Most importantly, the combination also demonstrated functional evidence of memory T cell response, making the mice immune to re-challenge with the same cancer cells. We believe that this triple combination could offer a unique therapeutic approach in the treatment of immune checkpoint inhibitor resistant pancreatic cancer,” remarked Dr. Vincent J. O’Neill, Chief Medical Officer of BioXcel Therapeutics during the presentation of the preclinical data alongside Nektar Therapeutics Inc.

NKTR Earnings & Outlook

Nektar Therapeutics last reported its quarterly earnings results on March 1, 2018. During the period, the company reported earnings per share of 28 cents, finishing below analysts’ consensus estimate of 26 cents.

The company had net income of $37.45 million during the quarter, versus the $40.83 million analyst consensus estimate.

The biopharmaceutical firm posted a negative net margin of 98.86% and a negative return on equity of 8,769.14%.

The company’s revenue during the period was down 4.9% on a Y-o-Y basis. In the same period last year, the company reported earnings per share of $0.40. Analysts expect the company to report earnings per share of $-1.20 for the current fiscal year.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. Company Profile

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical firm that engages in the discovery and development of auto-immune disease, chronic pain, and cancer drug candidates based on its polymer conjugate and PEGylation technology platforms in the U.S.

It offers a topoisomerase I inhibitor known as ONZEALD, which is currently in the Phase-3 clinical trial for metastatic breast cancer treatment and NKTR-181, which is in Phase-3 clinical trial for moderate to chronic pain treatment.

The company is also developing an opioid-induced constipation candidate drug known as MOVANTIK for chronic non-cancer pain patients. Further, its develops a drug candidate for treatment of Hepatitis-C known as a PEG-INTRON and Macugen for macular degeneration.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. also collaborates with Amgen Inc., AstraZeneca AB, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Shire plc, Baxalta Incorporated, Pfizer Inc., F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Amgen Inc., Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, UCB Pharma S.A., and Allergan, Inc.

Nektar Therapeutics Inc. was established in 1990. Its head offices are based in San Francisco, California. – Reuters