Mirati gauging sale interest of Big Pharmas — report
Mirati Therapeutics, maker of the experimental cancer drug adagrasib, is piquing the interest of Big Pharmas, according to a report from Bloomberg.
On Tuesday, the biotech’s stock $MRTX rose by almost 16%, jumping from just under $75 to over $86. After Wednesday’s opening bell, Mirati’s stock continued to climb nearly $3 apiece. But that still leaves it down 43% from the beginning of this year, a reflection of the biotech market as a whole.
According to the report, Mirati is working with an advisor, but no formal bids have been placed by Big Pharma companies yet, and more data from a combination study with Keytruda could be key to the progression of talks. Mirati did not respond to a request for comment as of publication time.
The biggest of names in pharma could be interested, Jefferies analysts noted, including those without KRAS assets, like Bristol Myers Squibb, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Those already in the KRAS pool, Merck and Eli Lilly, could also be intrigued, the analysts wrote.
Mirati’s adagrasib inhibits KRAS G12C, a target once thought to be “undruggable.” The FDA is set to make a decision on whether to approve the drug in non-small cell lung cancer by Dec. 14.
Amgen’s Lumakras was the first in that arena, winning accelerated approval nearly a year and a half ago. But Mirati is hoping it can outdo Amgen in other indications, touting data in advanced colon cancer at ESMO.
While cross-trial comparisons come with caveats, Mirati’s drug was the “superior option and a differentiated KRAS G12C inhibitor” compared to Lumakras, one analyst wrote at the time. Amgen posted combination data on its drug plus the EGFR inhibitor Vectibix with a 30% overall response rate, but Mirati eclipsed that figure with its data on adagrasib in combination with EGFR inhibitor Erbitux, coming in at a 46% overall response rate.