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Stifel’s ASCO abstract cheat sheet

May 19, 2017

Commenting on the abstracts for the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, meeting released after market close on Wednesday, Stifel gave its overview of the specific abstracts. The ASCO is scheduled to be held June 2–6 this year.

Sell-Off In NewLink Genetics Unfounded

Analysts Stephen Willey, Prakhar Verma and Philomena Kavya said the weakness in NewLink Genetics Corp (NASDAQ: NLNK) in the after hours, when it slumped over 15 percent, was unfounded. The view is based on a duo factors.

The analysts said the 9 percent/33 percent ORR/DCR rates observed in the dose-escalation portion of the Phase IB of the trial involving atezolizumab/navoximod reflected a heavily pre-treated population with heterogenous/undefined tumor types receiving sub-optimal dosing. This combination is used to treat patients with locally advanced or metastatic solid tumors.

The result was in line with the single-digit ORRs observed in heavily-pretreated expansion cohort patients receiving epacadostat/pembrolizumab.

Another premise, the analysts noted, was the totality of the epacadostat/pembrolizumab data in less heavily pre-treated patients appears to confirm the utility of IDO1 inhibition in other tumor types beyond melanoma.

Strength In GlycoMimetics Appropriate

Stifel believes the after-hours strength in GlycoMimetics Inc (NASDAQ: GLYC) shares (up over 37 percent) was appropriate, given updated P1/2 GMI-1271 data in both newly-diagnosed and relapsed/refractory AML patients. The relapsed/refractory AML patients, according to the firm, serve as the basis of a FDA-granted Breakthrough Therapy designation.

“We believe updated P1 larotrectinib data in pediatric patients harboring a variety of different NTRK alterations is early but encouraging,” the firm added.

Late Data To Dictate Sentiment On Loxo Oncology

Meanwhile, on Loxo Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: LOXO), the firm thinks late-breaking registrational data at ASCO would appropriately dictate sentiment in Loxo shares.

ASCO Data May Not Impact Array, Exelixis And MEI Pharma

Stifel said additional abstract data for Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ: ARRY), Exelixis, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXEL) and MEI Pharma Inc (NASDAQ: MEIP) does not materially impact its thesis on these names.

On the other hand, the firm expects sentiment around both Array Biopharma and Exelixis to be more influenced by competitive melanoma and RCC data presentations, respectively.

Concluding, the firm said, “We continue to recommend NLNK, GLYC, and LOXO shares in front of next month’s meeting.”

In Pre-Market Trading

  • NewLink Genetics was slumping 15.22 percent to $13.65.
  • GlycoMimetics was jumping 23.09 percent to $5.37.
  • Array Biopharma was slipping 0.64 percent to $7.86.


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