Deciphera’s pipe dream dies

Moving into early lines of therapy was financially crucial for Deciphera’s Qinlock, but this possibility now looks to be off the table. The Intrigue study failed to show a PFS benefit with Qinlock over Sutent in second-line gastrointestinal stromal tumours, news that knocked $1.5bn, or 75%, off Deciphera’s market cap this morning. In fourth-line disease Qinlock is the standard of care, but in US sales have plateaued and just $21.7m was recorded in the third quarter. A fourth-line approval decision in Europe, due this quarter, will provide little solace. Consensus had pencilled in $1.2bn by 2026, according to Evaluate Pharma, a figure now set for some substantial downgrades. Stifel now sees peak sales of a mere $200m, which assumes that ex-US use will ramp to match US sales. Deciphera is to review the remainder of its pipeline; two novel projects that have attracted minimal investor interest so far are about to enter phase 3. These trials must now be be funded with cash reserves rather than revenue stream, Stifel points out. It could be some time before the company gets investors back on board.

Deciphera's limited pipeline
Status Project Mechanism Note Annual 2026 sales $m
Marketed Qinlock Platelet-derived growth factor receptor antagonist; Proto-oncogene c-Kit inhibitor Sold in US for 4L GIST, EU approval decision Q4; 2L Intrigue study failed; ph1/2 plus Mektovi, Nov start date 1,177*
Ph 3 Vimseltinib
Macrophage colony stimulating factor receptor 1 inhibitor Motion study set to start Q4 in tenosynovial giant cell tumour 114
Ph 2 Rebastinib Bcr/Abl fusion protein inhibitor; Tunica interna endothelial cell kinase 2 inhibitor Ph3 due to start 2022, + paclitaxel in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer 119
Ph 1 DCC-3116 Serine/threonine-protein kinase ULK2 inhibitor Initial dose-escalation data due 2022, +/- Mekinist, advanced or metastatic solid tumours with Ras or Raf mutations -
*Consensus before Intrigue failure. Source: Evaluate Pharma, & company releases.

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