Incyte Corp. (INCY) Stock Hammered on Discontinuation of Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Shares of Incyte Corp. (INCY) were down -10.56 or -14.60 percent to $61.75 per share in Thursday’s premarket after the company reported better than expected earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter, but also announced it would discontinue its treatment of pancreatic cancer after an interim analysis failed to indicate sufficient efficacy. Incyte Corp. shares closed at $72.31, up +0.05 or +0.07 percent in Wednesday’s regular trading session.

Alapocas, Delaware based Incyte Corp. was founded in 1991 in Palo Alto, California and went public in 1993.
The company is a biopharmaceutical firm that focuses on the development and commercialization of therapies and treatments primarily in the field of oncology. The company’s main product is JAKAFI, an oral janus associated kinase or JAK inhibitor for treating patients with myelofibrosis or MF, primary MF, post essential thrombocythemia MF and post polycythemia vera MF. The company’s product pipeline includes ruxolitnib, a treatment for pancreatic cancer which was in Phase III clinical trials, as well as treatments for colorectal cancer, breast cancer and non small cell lung cancer that are currently in Phase II clinical trials.

The company announced it had discontinued it Phase III study of ruxolitnib after an analysis of the treatment failed to show a sufficient level of efficacy to justify continuation of the study. The drug was being evaluated to determine if it was viable in the treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.

After the analysis, Incyte discontinued its trials of the drug in solid tumors, which include a Phase III JANUS II study for the drug’s use in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, a Phase II sub study on patients with colorectal cancer and Phase II studies for the treatment of breast and lung cancer. Incyte’s dose finding study of the drug as a primary treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer will be discontinued, but ongoing studies of ruxolitnib and some JAK1 inhibitors in hematology and sold tumor indications will continue.

Rich Levy, M.D., Chief Drug Development Officer of Incyte said in a statement that, “The hypothesis to evaluate the therapeutic utility of JAK inhibition in patients with solid tumors and high levels of systemic inflammation was initially supported by a subgroup analysis of the randomized, double-blind Phase 2 RECAP study, which suggested a survival benefit in patients with high levels of CRP. As a result, we and the broader scientific community believed further study in pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors with evidence of systemic inflammation was warranted.”

“Unfortunately, the larger studies did not confirm this hypothesis. Moving forward, we remain focused on our strategy to invest in innovation and in our broad development portfolio, as we seek to deliver new medicines to patients with cancer and other diseases.”

In addition to announcing the discontinuation of its trials for ruxolitnib, the company reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.29 per share on revenue of $243.9 million, an increase of +231.8 percent and +249.6 percent respectively over the same period last year. The analyst consensus was for Incyte to report earnings of $0.09 per share on revenue of $225.9 million.

The company issued 2016 guidance of $800 million to $815 million due to expectations of continued growth in demand in treatments for myelofibrosis and the increasing contribution from the company’s launch in polycythemia vera.

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Published on Feb 11, 2016
By Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk
Jay Hawk enjoyed a 12-year professional financial markets career incorporating extensive first hand futures and options experience obtained by trading in the stock, commodity and forex markets on U.S. exchanges. Since retiring as a full-time financial market professional, he has been actively trading stock, commodities, forex and options for his own account and managing funds for others, as well as writing financial market commentary and educational articles.

Copyrighted 2020. Content published with author's permission.

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