New Nektar needs a pipeline boost
The $800m that Nektar has in the bank will come in handy after Bristol discontinued all work on Nektar's lead asset, bempegaldesleukin, an IL-2 that has failed the pivotal Pivot-09 and Pivot-10 trials. With bempegaldesleukin dead in the water, Nektar’s pipeline looks even thinner. NKTR-262 is being studied in metastatic solid tumours, but in combination with bempegaldesleukin, so its future is also looking shaky. The group also has an IL-15, NKTR-255, in phase 1 trials in refractory non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and in a phase 2 combination trial with Erbitux for colorectal cancer, though its biggest hope is the Lilly-partnered autoimmune disease candidate NTR-358. With Nektar’s enterprise value hovering around $330m and Lilly owing up to $250m in milestone payments, Stifel analysts have questioned whether Lilly might be better off buying Nektar outright. Data from NKTR-358 in lupus and ulcerative colitis remain early, so Lilly might want to hold off for now. It would certainly be getting a cheaper deal than Bristol did when it paid $102 per share for a stake in 2018, as part of the $1.85bn bempegaldesleukin deal; Nektar shares opened today just under $5.
|Nektar R&D pipeline|
|Product||Pharma Class||Indication||2026e sales ($m)||Status|
|Bempegaldesleukin||CD122 agonist||Renal cell carcinoma/ prostate cancer/ urothelial carcinoma/ head and neck cancer||N/A||Abandoned ph3|
|NKTR-358||IL-2 alpha agonist||Systemic lupus erythematosus/ ulcerative colitis/ psoriasis/ atopic dermatitis||13||Ph1/2|
|NKTR-262||TLR agonist||Metastatic solid tumours||1||Ph1/2|
|NKTR-255||IL-15 agonist||Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma/ multiple myeloma/ colorectal cancer/ head and neck cancer||1||Ph1/2|