Mirati Therapeutics shares tumble on release of Phase 2 trial data for lung cancer treatment

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Shares of the biotech company Mirati Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MRTX) are slipping on the release of Phase 2 clinical data for its combination drug treating lung cancer.

The study was evaluating Mirati’s therapy sitravatinib in combination with Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s (NYSE:BMY) groundbreaking drug Opdivo as a method for treating non-small cell lung cancer.

Sitravatinib is a small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that is currently being evaluated in three clinical development programs for the treatment of genetically-defined lung cancer and other solid tumors.

Out of 56 patients, 16 of those taking part in the Phase 2 study achieved either a partial or complete response rate to the treatment. While 45 of 56 patients saw their tumors shrink, 18 of 56 patients reported a more than 30% reduction in the size of their tumors.

Investors came away unimpressed with the results, however, sending Mirati shares down 18.4% to $32.65 in Monday’s afternoon trading session.

But in response, Oppenheimer analyst Leah Rush Cann is sticking to an Outperform rating on the company’s stock with a $62 price target.

“We find these results encouraging and supportive of sitravatinib as a combination therapy with a checkpoint inhibitor,” Rush Cann writes in a note to investors.

The analyst is projecting that sitravatinib could launch in 2023 as both a single agent and in combination with other agents and could account for nearly 34% of Mirati’s estimated product sales.

Mirati plans to launch a Phase 3 study in patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have already received initial treatments that compares the combination of sitravatinib plus a checkpoint inhibitor to docetaxel in the first half of next year.

The company is a clinical-stage oncology company based in San Diego, California.

Contact Ellen Kelleher at ellen@proactiveinvestors.com

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