Skip to main content

Market Overview

Nektar Therapeutics Secures $150M From SFJ Pharma For New Study With BEMPEG/Pembrolizumab Combo In Head & Neck Cancer

  • Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR) announces a financing and co-development collaboration with privately-held SFJ Pharmaceuticals to develop Bempegaldesleukin (BEMPEG) CD122-preferential IL-2–pathway agonist.
  • The collaboration between SFJ and Nektar will support a new Phase 2/3 registrational study of BEMPEG plus Merck & Co Inc's (NYSE: MRK) Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in patients with head and neck cancer whose tumors express PD-L1.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, SFJ has agreed to fund up to $150 million to support the study until its completion. Nektar will be the sponsor of the Phase 2/3 study planned to start in the second half of 2021.
  • Nektar agrees to pay SFJ success-based annual milestone payments over a period of seven to eight years, which are contingent upon receipt of certain U.S. regulatory approvals.
  • Nektar will conduct the Phase 2/3 study, which is expected to enroll 500 patients. The Phase 2 portion of the study will include an interim analysis of the overall response rate (ORR) after the first 200 patients enrolled have a minimum follow-up of 4 months. Suppose the ORR passes a prespecified futility boundary. In that case, the study will continue, and the remaining 300 patients will be enrolled for the Phase 3 portion of the study with primary endpoints of ORR and overall survival; progression-free survival is a secondary endpoint.
  • Price Action: NKTR gained 13.1% at $25.4 in premarket trading on the last check Wednesday.

Related Articles (NKTR + MRK)

View Comments and Join the Discussion!

Posted-In: neck cancer Phase 2Biotech News FDA General

Don't Miss Any Updates!
News Directly in Your Inbox
Subscribe to:
Benzinga Premarket Activity
Get pre-market outlook, mid-day update and after-market roundup emails in your inbox.
Market in 5 Minutes
Everything you need to know about the market - quick & easy.
Fintech Focus
A daily collection of all things fintech, interesting developments and market updates.
Everything you need to know about the latest SPAC news.
Thank You

Thank you for subscribing! If you have any questions feel free to call us at 1-877-440-ZING or email us at