SITC 2019 preview – Nextcure’s time to shine
The biotech calendar’s next key conference gets under way in a month, and a presentation by Nextcure will be a focus for some investors.
With most of the programme for the Society of the Immunotherapy of Cancer conference now revealed, investors have fresh expectations from what has recently become one of the most important meetings of the biotech calendar.
The late-breaking presentations remain under wraps until November 1, but are rumoured to include a slot for Pieris, a stock that has crashed in the past month. In the meantime, those investors who bought into Nextcure, a biotech whose valuation has climbed 40% since it raised $75m in a May flotation, will look to proof of efficacy of NC318, the group’s lead asset.
NC318 inhibits a novel protein called Siglec-15, which is present on immunosuppressive macrophages. The group’s IPO document cited one partial remission in 13 patients, and more will be hoped for at SITC, where phase I data in PD-(L)1-refractory NSCLC subjects are to be presented.
Also out with SITC data in checkpoint blocker-refractory subjects will be Mirati – not with the anti-Kras project MRTX849, which features at this month’s AACR-NCI-EORTC triple meeting, but with the TRK, Ret and DDR inhibitor sitravatinib.
|Selected presentations from the 2019 SITC conference|
|Bempegaldesleukin||Nektar||Opdivo combo in 1st-line melanoma cohort from Pivot-02||NCT02983045|
|Sitravatinib||Mirati||Trk, Ret & DDR inhibitor combo with Opdivo in checkpoint-refractory urothelial carcinoma||NCT03606174|
|NC318||Nextcure||Single agent anti-tumor activity in PD-1 refractory NSCLC||NCT03665285|
|CDX-1140 +/- CDX-301||Celldex||CD40 agonist MAb +/- FLT3 ligand||NCT03329950|
|CPI-006||Corvus||Anti-CD73 MAb, phase I data||NCT03454451|
|CV8102||Curevac||Single-agent TLR & RIG1 agonist or combo with anti-PD-1 MAbs||NCT03291002|
|AK104||Akeso Biopharma||Phase I study of anti-PD-1 x CTLA-4 bispecific||NCT03261011|
|IMA101||Immatics||First study of TILs with defined multiple targets||NCT02876510|
|CA-170||Curis||Small-molecule Vista antagonist, mesothelioma cohort||NCT02812875|
|RP1||Replimune||Phase I data on oncolytic virus +/- Opdivo||NCT03767348|
|ONCOS-102||Targovax||Phase I data on oncolytic virus + Keytruda||NCT03003676|
|P-BCMA-ALLO1||Poseida||Off-the-shelf multiple myeloma Car-T therapy||Preclinical data|
|AUTO6NG||Autolus||GD2-targeting Car-T therapy||Preclinical data|
|BT8009||Bicycle Therapeutics||Anti-nectin-4/4-1BB bispecific||Preclinical data|
Combinations will also feature, in particular Curevac’s TLR/Rig1 agonist CV8102 and Nektar’s ill-fated IL-2 asset bempegaldesleukin.
Investors in August did not buy Nektar’s excuse for bempegaldesleukin’s waning efficacy in the Pivot-02 study, and SITC will see data from this trial’s first-line melanoma cohort (Nektar’s call for calm backfires, August 9, 2019).
Another group that has disappointed of late is Bicycle Therapeutics, which presented an underwhelming update concerning its MT1-MMP inhibitor BT1718 at the Esmo congress. At SITC attention turns to the anti-nectin-4/4-1BB bispecific BT8009; Bicycle might want to bask in the reflected glory of Seattle Genetics’ recently filed anti-nectin-4 antibody-drug conjugate, enfortumab vedotin.
There will also be presentations on I-O combinations of oncolytic virus projects from Repligen and Targovax. Cell therapy enthusiasts, meanwhile, will look to early data from Immatics, Iovance, Poseida and Autolus.
That said, the best is yet to come. Pieris, whose stock has nearly halved since unveiling disappointing AZD1402/PRS-060 data in asthma, has according to analysts at Evercore ISI secured an SITC late-breaker for its oncology lead, PRS-343, which is an anti-Her2/4-1BB bispecific.
For the rest of the late-breakers investors will have to wait another three weeks.
A second preview story covering late breaker data from Pieris Pharmaceuticals’ PRS-343 can be found here. The 2019 SITC meeting takes place at National Harbor, Maryland on November 6-10.