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5 ASCO Abstracts Moving Biopharma Stocks

The American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference brings together oncology professionals, patient advocates, industry representatives, and major media outlets from across the globe. This year's meeting is is scheduled for May 29-31 and is or

Benzinga · 05/14/2020 19:20

The American Society of Clinical Oncology annual conference brings together oncology professionals, patient advocates, industry representatives, and major media outlets from across the globe.

This year's meeting is is scheduled for May 29-31 and is organized as a virtual event due to the lockdowns and stay-at-home restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the meeting, the society made available abstracts submitted by the companies for presentation roughly two weeks from now. A few stocks are making big moves in reaction to the abstracts. 

Allogene Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ALLO)

Allogene, which develops allogeneic CAR T-cell therapies for cancer, revealed in an abstract the first data from its Phase 1 dose escalation ALPHA study of ALLO-501 in relapsed/refractory non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Preliminary data from the first nine patients treated with escalating doses of ALLO-501 and a lower dose of ALLO-647 showed no dose limiting toxicities or graft vs. host disease. The overall response rate was 78%, with three complete responses and four partial responses. 

Following the early data, H.C. Wainwright analyst Debjit Chattopadhyay reiterated a Buy rating and increased the price target from $35 to $42, based on higher probability of success for ALLO-501.

Amgen, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN)

Amgen released updated first-in-human studies evaluating its investigational KRAS inhibitor AMG 510 in patients with advanced colorectal cancer and other solid tumors.

The company presented data on AMG-510 from 25 colorectal cancer patients, who received the highest dose of AMG 510, showing three patients had partial responses. This translated to a response rate of 12%, an increase from the 8% rate revealed at the ESMO 2019.

The company also revealed data from a study of the pipeline asset in about 10 cancer types other than CRC and non-small cell lung cancer showing a 14% response rate.

"We think the AMG 510 CRC data update is in line with prior update at ESMO'19, and we look forward to Amgen's ASCO investor event to get more color on pipeline," said Cantor Fitzgerald's Alethia Young.

See also: The Week Ahead In Biotech: Virtual Conference Presentations, Clovis PDUFA Date In The Spotlight

MacroGenics Inc (NASDAQ: MGNX)

MacroGenics shares have soared about 250% ever since it issued a corporate and pipeline update May 5.

The company presented details on two of its investigational assets in the abstracts.

The Phase 1 dose escalation and expansion clinical trial of MGD013 — in combination with margetuximab, its investigational Fc-engineered monoclonal antibody targeting HER-2 — suggested a response in approximately 40% of late-stage HER-2-positive tumors that compares favorably to low response rates for HER-2-directed agents and checkpoint blockades.

Separately, the company announced early results from an ongoing Phase 1 study of MGC018, an ADC directed against B7-H3, showing preliminary signals of anti-tumor effects, including prostate-specific antigen reductions of 50% or more in five of seven patients with late-stage prostate cancer.

Although the abstracts didn't contain anything that would necessarily trigger selling the stock, the pullback may have to do with the strong gain seen since early May. 

Arvinas Inc (NASDAQ: ARVN)

Updated safety and initial efficacy data from the dose escalation portion of the Phase 1/2 clinical trial of Arvinas' ARV-110 in men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer showed two patients with ongoing confirmed prostate-specific antigen responses, including one with an unconfirmed partial tumor response.

The efficacy data exceeded investor expectations, but the weakness in the shares could be due to two safety events, Cantor analyst Eliana Merle said.

CytomX Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: CTMX)

Abstracts presented by CytomX raise more question than answers, H.C. Wainwright analyst Robert Burns said. One of the company's abstracts discussed its CD71-targeted probody drug conjugate CX-2029, developed in combination with AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV). The overall response rate was a mere 3.1%.

The other abstracts were also underwhelming, Burns said.

Biotech Price Action

At last check:

Allogene shares were rallying 30.49% to $40.42. 

Amgen shares were trading down 0.17% at $236.43 following larger spikes down earlier in the day.  
Macrogenics was retreating by 5.02% to $25.17.

Arvinas was sliding 14.55% to $43.58.

CytomX shares were slumping 37.26% to $9.06. 

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