Today’s Research Reports on Stocks to Watch: Eiger BioPharmaceuticals and Nektar Therapeutics

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals was trading high in the green on Thursday after announcing on Wednesday that it had expanded a licensing agreement with Merck. Shares of Nektar Therapeutics weren’t as lucky with a drop of nearly 8% yesterday after revealing a disappointing update on a phase ½ trial evaluating NKTR-214 with Opdivo from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

RDI Initiates Coverage on:

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc.

Nektar Therapeutics

Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. shares closed up 41.77% yesterday and continued to see another 8.60% in gains in extended hours. The pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of targeted therapies for rare diseases revealed on Wednesday that it has expanded its licensing agreement with Merck to include rights to develop the investigational farnesyltransferase inhibitor lonafarnib for the treatment of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS or Progeria) outside the United States and Canada. Progeria is fatal genetic condition that is rare and is characterized by accelerated aging in children. Eiger will have commercial and distribution rights to lonafarnib across the licensed and approved indications in the future with the agreement. Eiger also announced that it has completed a collaboration agreement with The Progeria Research Foundation (PRF). CEO David Cory stated, "Continued patient access to lonafarnib was the fundamental motivation for these agreements. Eiger will provide lonafarnib for ongoing clinical trials and expanded access in Progeria and work together with PRF to seek regulatory guidance on a pathway toward regulatory approval of lonafarnib for use in children with Progeria."  

Access RDI’s Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. Research Report at:

Nektar Therapeutics shares closed down 7.66% yesterday on about 5.3 million shares traded. The stock fell as much as a little over 11% during the trading day after the company released an abstract to be presented next month at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Shares dropped because the abstract had a discouraging update over an ongoing clinical trial. The company revealed that the interim data analysts for a phase 1/2 trial that is evaluating NKTR-214 in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Opdivo had shown big drops in response rates versus the rates that were released at the last interim data analysis last November. The phase 1/2 trial is evaluating the combination of the drugs against several cancers including kidney cancer, small-cell lung cancer, and melanoma. Company Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, Mary Taglliaferri, remarked, "We are extremely pleased that six separate abstracts for Nektar programs were accepted for presentation at this year’s ASCO meeting, including preliminary clinical data from the ongoing PIVOT study evaluating NKTR-214 in combination with nivolumab. Cancer immunotherapy holds great promise, but most patients lack the cancer-fighting immune cells for these treatments to be effective. NKTR-214 is designed to selectively target the IL-2 pathway to drive the proliferation of cancer-fighting CD8+ effector T cells and natural killer cells in the tumor without expanding unwanted suppressive regulatory T cells."

Access RDI’s Nektar Therapeutics Research Report at:

Our Actionable Research on Eiger BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EIGR) and Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) can be downloaded free of charge at Research Driven Investing.

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