Happy New Year! Here is STAT’s biotech scorecard, our regular ledger of stock-moving biotech events, for the first quarter:
Abbvie is developing a cocktail of drugs to treat people with cystic fibrosis, which if proven effective and safe — and eventually approved — might grab a meaningful slice of Vertex Pharma’s $7 billion-plus cystic fibrosis treatment franchise. The probability that this scenario plays out in Abbvie’s favor — or doesn’t — will become clearer once readouts from two mid-stage clinical trials are announced early in the quarter.
According to the health care investment bank Cowen, more than 4,000 clinical trials are underway in which various experimental drugs are being combined with currently approved anti-PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors to create more potent treatments for patients with cancer. One such immunotherapy regimen, a long-acting form of IL-2 from Nektar Therapeutics combined with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Opdivo, is nearing the finish line after years of clinical development. The companies are expected to have results from three Phase 3 studies of the bempeg-Opdivo combination during the first and second quarters, starting with a study involving patients with previously untreated metastatic melanoma.
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