Nektar (NKTR) is another one of those stocks that looks to be moving up more strongly right now than the relatively sparse news would explain.
Shares of this biotech are up 18.96% in the last week and 24.37% for the last 3 months.
I can see a stream of positive news that should be leading the stock gradually higher, but nothing that is especially “current.”
So, for example, the company announced that it has dosed the first patient in the phase I/II study evaluating its drug candidate NKTR-255 in combination with Eli Lilly’s (LLY) Erbitux for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory head and neck squamous cell carcinoma or colorectal cancer. But that was new news two months ago.
Or, to take another example, the company reported that it would increase the trial for its combination bempeg+pembro trial to 60 patients from the prior 30 patient trial. That’s good news in that faster enrollment in a trial brings data sooner but we’re still talking about results the second half of 2021. Nektar also noted that if that trial delivers positive data it expects to begin a Phase III study of bumper with Merck’s Keytruda by the end of 2021. But again that was new news a month ago
What looks to be happening is that positive cash flow into the biotech sector and a continued stream of acquisitions of promising biotech early stage companies by Big Pharma are driving up valuations in the sector.
I continue to hold Nektar in my Jubak Picks Portfolio with a target price of $36. The stock closed today, February 1, up another 5.03% to $20.69. The position is still down 44% from initiation on November 11, 2017.
Full disclosure: I own shares of Nectar in my personal portfolios.