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On Saturday night, the controversy around the experimental cancer immunotherapy drug NKTR-214 ratcheted higher following a new data presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting.

Nektar Therapeutics and Bristol-Myers Squibb, the owners of NKTR-214, are undertaking a hugely expensive program to run nearly two dozen clinical trials spanning 20 indications across nine types of solid tumors. Phase 3 studies in melanoma, kidney cancer, and urothelial cancer are starting soon.

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  • I respectfully disagree. The data strongly suggests a 10-20% increase in activity over anti-PD1 monotherapy with little toxicity and ability to further combine and sequence with alternative checkpoint inhibitors and emerging TLR agonist drugs.

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