First Data for NKTR-214 in Combination with OPDIVO® (nivolumab) for Patients with Stage IV Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancers, Including Patients with PD-L1 Negative Status, Revealed at SITC 2017

Interim data from the dose-escalation phase of the PIVOT-02 trial highlighted as an oral presentation

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD, USA I November 11, 2017 I Nektar Therapeutics (Nasdaq: NKTR) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) today announced the first presentation of data from the PIVOT-02 Phase 1/2 Study, which is designed to evaluate the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) with Nektar's investigational medicine, NKTR-214. The initial results presented at the 2017 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting reported both safety and efficacy data for patients enrolled in the dose-escalation phase of the trial.

"These initial findings underscore the potential benefit of the combination of Opdivo and NKTR-214 across several tumor types," said Fouad Namouni, M.D., Head of Oncology Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. "We believe that a combination regimen which utilizes two different, complementary, and non-overlapping mechanisms designed to harness the body's own immune system to fight cancer has the potential to benefit patients and should be the subject of additional research."

Opdivo is a PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor designed to overcome immune suppression. NKTR-214 is an investigational immuno-stimulatory therapy designed to expand and activate specific cancer-fighting T cells and natural killer (NK) cells directly in the tumor micro-environment and increase expression of cell-surface PD-1 on these immune cells.

"In the dose-escalation stage of the PIVOT trial, we've observed important response rates across all three tumor types – melanoma, renal cell carcinoma and non-small lung cancer - in both PD-L1 positive and PD-L1 negative patients," said Mary Tagliaferri, M.D., Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Nektar Therapeutics.  "All patients with responses in the trial continue on treatment.  Of note, we observed responses in 3 of 4 Stage IV non-small cell lung cancer patients whose tumors did not express PD-L1 and who had progressed on prior chemotherapy, including one patient who experienced a complete response.  In the combination treatment, there were no Grade 3 or higher immune-mediated adverse events at the recommended Phase 2 dose or below.  Nektar and Bristol are now actively enrolling patients in the Phase 2 expansion part of the PIVOT study in 5 different tumor types."

A copy of the full data presentation from Dr. Diab's oral session is available on Nektar's corporate website at

A total of 38 patients were enrolled in the dose-escalation phase of the ongoing PIVOT study in a number of dose cohorts. Responses were measured per RECIST 1.1 for efficacy-evaluable (>1 on treatment scan) patients as of November 2, 2017.

Highlights from the oral presentation include:

  • Advanced Treatment-Naïve 1L Melanoma Patients (Stage IV):
    • Responses were observed in 7/11 (63%) efficacy-evaluable patients (2 CR and 5 PR). Median time to response was 1.7 months. DCR, also known as disease control rate (CR + PR + 3 SD), was 91%. All 7 patients with responses continue on treatment in the trial.
  • Advanced Treatment-Naïve 1L Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients (Stage IV):
    • For patients with one or more baseline scans, responses were observed in 6/13 patients (46%) (1 CR+ and 5 PR). DCR (CR + PR + 5 SD) was 85%. Median time to response in these patients was 1.9 months. For patients with two or more scans available, responses were observed in 6/10 patients (60%) (1 CR, 5 PR, 2 SD). All 11 patients with disease control (CR, PR or SD) continue on treatment in the trial.
  • Advanced 2L Renal Cell Carcinoma Patients (Stage IV, I-O Naïve)
    • For patients with one or more baseline scans, responses were observed in 1/7 patients (14%) (1 PR). DCR (CR + PR + 6 SD) was 100%. Median time to response was 3.5 months. All 7 patients with disease control (PR or SD) continue on treatment in the trial.
  • Advanced 2L PD-L1 Negative Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients (Stage IV, I-O Naïve)
    • Responses were observed in 3/4 patients (75%) (1 CR± and 2 PR). DCR (CR + PR) was 75%. Median time to response was 1.7 months. All 3 patients with responses continue on treatment in the trial.
  • Robust expansion of ICOS+ CD4 and CD8+ T cells in the blood and increased ICOS gene expression in the tumor were both observed with the combination of NKTR-214 and nivolumab.
  • The most common grade 1-2 adverse events were fatigue (74%), flu-like symptoms (68%), rash (60%) and pruritus (42%). There were no treatment discontinuations due to adverse events (AEs) or study deaths.
  • There were no grade 3 or higher immune-mediated AEs (such as colitis, dermatitis, hepatitis, pneumonitis or endocrinopathies) at the recommended Phase 2 dose or below
  • A recommended Phase 2 dose of NKTR-214 0.006 mg/kg q3w + nivolumab 360 mg q3w was established and is being evaluated in expansion cohorts in over 10 patient populations with melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, bladder, and triple-negative breast cancers (n=~330).          

Nektar and Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into a clinical collaboration in September of 2016 to evaluate the potential for the combination of Opdivo and NKTR-214 to show improved and sustained efficacy and tolerability above the current standard of care. Bristol-Myers Squibb and Nektar are equally sharing costs of the combined therapy trials. Nektar maintains its global commercial rights to NKTR-214.

NKTR-214 preferentially binds to the CD122 receptor on the surface of cancer-fighting immune cells in order to stimulate their proliferation. In clinical and preclinical studies, treatment with NKTR-214 resulted in expansion of these cells and mobilization into the tumor micro-environment.1,2,3 NKTR-214 has an antibody-like dosing regimen similar to the existing checkpoint inhibitor class of approved medicines.

◊ One patient with confirmed PR at last scan experienced an unconfirmed CR, there was one additional patient with unconfirmed PR in the melanoma cohort as of Nov 2, 2017.
+ Complete response is unconfirmed, patient has confirmed PR.
± Complete response is unconfirmed, patient has confirmed PR.

About Nektar
Nektar Therapeutics is a research-based biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover and develop innovative medicines to address the unmet medical needs of patients. Our R&D pipeline of new investigational medicines includes treatments for cancer, auto-immune disease and chronic pain. We leverage Nektar's proprietary and proven chemistry platform in the discovery and design of our new therapeutic candidates. Nektar is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional operations in Huntsville, Alabama and Hyderabad, India. Further information about the company and its drug development programs and capabilities may be found online at

Bristol-Myers Squibb & Immuno-Oncology: Advancing Oncology Research
At Bristol-Myers Squibb, patients are at the center of everything we do. Our vision for the future of cancer care is focused on researching and developing transformational Immuno-Oncology (I-O) medicines for hard-to-treat cancers that could potentially improve outcomes for these patients.

We are leading the scientific understanding of I-O through our extensive portfolio of investigational compounds and approved agents. Our differentiated clinical development program is studying broad patient populations across more than 50 types of cancers with more than 15 clinical-stage programs designed to target different immune system pathways. Our deep expertise and innovative clinical trial designs position us to advance I-O/I-O, I-O/chemotherapy, I-O/targeted therapies and I-O/radiation therapies across multiple tumors and potentially deliver the next wave of therapies with a sense of urgency. We also continue to pioneer research that will help facilitate a deeper understanding of the role of immune biomarkers and how patients' tumor biology can be used as a guide for treatment decisions throughout their journey.

We understand making the promise of I-O a reality for the many patients who may benefit from these therapies requires not only innovation on our part but also close collaboration with leading experts in the field. Our partnerships with academia, government, advocacy and biotech companies support our collective goal of providing new treatment options to advance the standards of clinical practice.

SOURCE: Nektar Therapeutics

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