RBC Positive on Incyte's (INCY) ECHO-202 Phase 1 Update; Affirms at 'Outperform'
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The firm noted Friday:
Incyte released the ECHO-202 trial abstract earlier this morning, which will be presented at ESMO on Monday morning at 5am-6am ET/11am-12pm CET. The company will hold an investor call at 8am ET/2pm CET. The poster is currently available in the investor section of company's website. While we will wait for more details on the call, we view the data as positive and as confirming the drug's strong efficacy and benign safety profile.
Specifically, 1) after three more months of follow-up, since the March 28th data cutoff of the abstract, the PFS was not reached; this increases our confidence that the combo of epacadostat+pembro will end up with mPFS that will be superior of the ipi+nivo combo (mPFS 11.5 months); 2) the 12- and 6-month PFS discussed in the poster of 57% and 74%, respectively, compare favorably with the respective PFS of results from trials of other immunotherapy regimens; 3) the response rate remained robust and steady, including an additional patient whose PR became a CR; all this while the responses remained durable; 4) 83% (5/6) of melanoma patients treated with 100mg or more of epacadostat were responders; 5) the safety of the combination remained benign, both in terms of numbers (19% G3/4) and in terms of types of TEAEs.
There are data in the poster about responses in additional tumors, including lung and kidney; however, we have a harder time having as strong an opinion on them, given the small number of patients tested in each tumor type. Our key takeaway is that epacadostat is a very active and safe agent in melanoma and this data presentation appears to confirm/reinforce the company's decision to move into the Phase III setting.
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