(Photo by Flickr user Bill Dickinson, used under a Creative Commons license)
Wilmington-based Incyte’s promising cancer drug, epacadostat, failed in trial that paired it with Merck’s drug Keytruda — a setback for the Wilmington biotech company that caused a dramatic 18 percent drop in its shares Friday.
In a chain reaction, other biotech companies including NewLink Genetics Corp. in Ames, Iowa, and Corvus Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Burlingame, California, also saw their stocks fall.
The Wall Street Journal reported:
Incyte’s drug, epacadostat, was previously viewed as one of the more promising of the next generation of cancer drugs designed to work by harnessing the patients’ own immune systems to destroy tumor cells.
Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and other companies sell older types of immunotherapies that have improved treatment for certain cancers including the skin cancer melanoma and lung cancer. The market for these drugs is booming: Merck’s global Keytruda sales more than doubled to $3.8 billion last year.
But they don’t work for every patient, so companies have been racing to test whether combining older immunotherapies with other drugs could further improve patient survival.
Although promising in early trials, it was found in a larger trial launched in 2016 that the combination of epacadostat and Keytruda did not improve outcomes in test patients.-30-
Here are the biotech startups selected for the 2019 UD Fastpass
Year-end roundup: A dozen Delaware biotech stories from 2019
CRISPR gene editing in Delaware: ‘It’s bigger than just the technology’
Technology is ever evolving — shouldn’t business education be, too?
Delaware State University leads biopharma talent development project
UD-led program receives $23.5M for biomed research
What is Delaware’s next big thing?
Packed with growth opportunities, WSFS Bank moves into Philly
Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Delaware