Allogene Jumps, Compugen Plunges Following Release Of Cancer Meeting Abstracts

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On Wednesday after market close, abstracts for the now-virtual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting that will take place between May 29-31 were released. Commenting on the abstracts, Stifel analyst Stephen Willey said his reaction would be strongly-positive for MEI Pharma (MEIP); moderately-positive for both Seattle Genetics (SGEN) and Exelixis (EXEL); and neutral for MacroGenetics (MGNX), Compugen (CGEN) and Inovio (INO). Meanwhile, his peer at Jefferies argued that Allogene Therapeutics (ALLO) "looks to be one of the winners at ASCO 2020."

MEI UPDATE REINFORCES EMERGING BEST-IN-CLASS PROFILE: With a median duration of follow-up of now over 13 months, the still-stable 76% Overall Response Rate and not-yet-reached median duration of response achieved with single-agent, intermittently-dosed ME-401 reinforces Willey's belief that first half of 2021 TIDAL data will "clearly cement" the status of MEI Pharma’s ‘401 as a best-in-class treatment option in this setting. Further, the analyst believes the continued low incident rate of on-target/autoimmune-related adverse events and treatment discontinuations associated with the intermittent dosing schedule not only differentiates '401 from every other PI3K-delta inhibitor but also highlights the "combinability of this asset" with other mechanisms of action across a broader spectrum of B-cell malignancies.

TUCATINIB CNS BENEFIT 'LOOKS IMPRESSIVE': Stifel’s Willey pointed out that updated tucatinib data from Seattle Genetics in the subgroup of HER2CLIMB patients with baseline CNS metastases "looks impressive."He was also "quite surprised" by the unambiguous/uncontroversial outperformance of Merk's (MRK) pembrolizumab versus Seattle’s Adcetris in relapsed or refractory Hodgkin's lymphoma. While R/R HL represents a small part of the overall Adcetris revenue base, the analyst would expect these results to increase concern about competitive threats to Adcetris in earlier lines of Hodgkin's lymphoma therapy where head-to-head studies are currently ongoing.

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