Re­gen­eron’s star bis­pe­cif­ic is linked to 2 deaths in a small study — which was no help for its Q1 call

One of Re­gen­eron’s star can­cer drugs in the pipeline has run in­to trou­ble, and that’s con­tribut­ing to some tur­bu­lence for the share price on Tues­day.

Re­gen­eron ex­ecs chose to dis­close in their Q1 call with an­a­lysts to­day that their close­ly watched bis­pe­cif­ic REGN1979 was linked with two deaths from cy­tokine re­lease syn­drome in a small PD-1 com­bo study in­volv­ing 30 pa­tients. 

This bis­pe­cif­ic hunts the B cell mark­er CD20 as well as the CD3 com­po­nent of the T cell re­cep­tor, and Re­gen­eron can­cer re­search chief Is­rael Lowy spot­light­ed a 100% over­all re­sponse rate as a monother­a­py at ASH late last year, with 8 com­plete re­spons­es and 2 par­tials among pa­tients with fol­lic­u­lar lym­phoma. That’s very ear­ly-stage da­ta from a tiny tri­al, but Phase I is the new Phase II in can­cer re­search, and those kinds of da­ta al­ways at­tract at­ten­tion in the field — par­tic­u­lar­ly when it comes from a high-pro­file out­fit like Re­gen­eron.

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