Efficacy hints lift Nordic Nano, but a long wait for data remains

A 16% jump in Nordic Nanovector shares will be welcomed by long-suffering investors, who have seen the stock lose two thirds of its value since the end of 2016 on a series of delays to the company’s lead project, Betalutin. This radionucleotide is in a third-line, follicular lymphoma phase IIb trial, on which the company hopes to file. An update from the first stage of the study, showing lengthening duration of responses, prompted the share uptick today. However, there is a sting in the tail here: longer timelines mean that Nordic Nano does not have enough money to finish the trial. Little has been said about how or when fresh funds will be raised; an interim readout due early next year could serve as a trigger, but presumably the company needs to act sooner, as current cash will only last until mid-2020. Recruitment is expected to complete in the second half of next year, with readouts in early 2021 – 18 months later than was initially intended. Delays have cost the company a chief executive as well as investor support, and in the meantime the competitive environment has stiffened. Today’s share price rise could be short lived.

Selected late-line follicular lymphoma projects
Project Company  Mechanism Details Consensus for lymphoma sales in 2024 ($m)*
Aliqopa Bayer  Pan-PI3K inhibitor  Acclerated approval based on 59% ORR (N=104) 115
Zydelig  Gilead  PI3K delta inhibitor  Acclerated approval based on 54% ORR (N=72) 83
Copiktra Verastem PI3K delta & gamma inhibitor  Acclerated approval based on 42% ORR (N=83) 88
Tazemetostat Epizyme EZH2 inhibitor  Filed on 77% ORR (N=43) 538
ME-401 MEI Pharma  PI3K delta inhibitor  ORR of 75% in phase Ib (N=30); pivotal phase II recruiting  188
Betalutin  Nordic Nanovector  CD37-targeting radionucleotide  ORR of 70% in phase I (N=37); pivotal phase II recruiting 107
REGN1979 Regeneron CD20-CD3 bispecific  ORR of 93% in phase I (N=21); pivotal phase II recruiting  N/A
INCB50465 (parsaclisib) Incyte  PI3K delta inhibitor  ORR of 71% in phase I (N=4); pivotal phase II recruiting n/a
*Estimates based on all sales in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, of which follicular lymphoma is only one subtype. Source: EvaluatePharma & Nordic Nanovector presentation.

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