More than one million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Now, a Silicon Valley biotech company is making progress in the effort to fight back.
Nektar Therapeutics just got positive data on tests of its breast cancer drug (currently called NKTR-102), as 32 percent of patients with breast cancer saw positive results from the drug; 9 percent reportedly saw total resolution of their primary tumors.
It's still too early to dedclare victory; as I often write, biotech is a long haul when it comes to new drugs. Investors take note: Although Nektar (NKTR) shares have been climbing because of the new drug, the companies' decision to handle this one on its own have some investors looking for the exit.
Typically, a smaller company like Nektar will partner with a bit East Coast Pharma giant. With Nektar (so far, at least) going solo, there is tremendous upside if things go well -- and one analyst is on record this morning as saying the market for the drug could be in the $1 to $2 billion range -- but without a safety net, the company could be in for rough times if things don't go smoothly.
That said, it's an exciting development for a devastating disease. NKTR-102 is also going through seperate trials for metastatic breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and colorectal cancer. It's clearly one to watch and we'll keep our eyes on Nektar.