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

Share This Article