#ASH17: Syros eviscerated by investor backlash as lead drug flails badly in PhII
It didn’t take long Monday morning to see who the worst performer for the ASH weekend would be. Syros $SYRS cratered quickly once investors got a chance to respond to the hard evidence that their lead drug is failing badly in a Phase II study.
It’s hard to tell from the release, which focused a lot of energy on evidence of clinical activity, but the primary endpoints in the study had to do with overall response rates for acute myeloid leukemia as well as transfusion independence in myelodysplastic syndrome.
Researchers found one complete response in AML, and that was about it, once you penetrate the flurry of positive signs that Syros tried to get everyone to focus on. The drug, an RARα agonist, is dubbed SY-1425.
Its shares were eviscerated, dropping 55% after investors failed to buy into the biotech’s proposal that the best path forward would lie in combination therapies.
Columbia University’s Joseph Jurcic was left with the unenviable task of putting the best light on the results:
We saw improved blood counts and reduced blast counts in conjunction with differentiation of cancer cells in genomically defined patients. These data, along with the mechanistic and preclinical data supporting combinations with azacitidine and with daratumumab, suggest SY-1425 could be a meaningful combination agent with the potential to address a substantial unmet need for patients with AML and MDS.