January 9, 2017: Sell ARIAD Pharmaceuticals on the news that it will be acquired by Takeda for $24 per share. This was a monster 86.7% win for us. Congratulations if you were able to make money on the trade.
January 4, 2017: Seeing heavy weekly call activity in Ariad Pharmaceuticals: 1,684 Jan 13 $13 calls trade at $0.40
December 7, 2016: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals announced that the investigational medicine brigatinib demonstrated 15.6 month systemic median progression-free survival in ALTA Study. The clinical data on brigatinib, its investigational anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) inhibitor, from the pivotal ALTA trial in ALK-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who had experienced disease progression on crizotinib therapy. As of May 31, 2016, the data show that of patients on the 180-mg regimen with a median follow-up of 11 months, 55% achieved confirmed objective response as assessed by the investigator. In this arm, the median progression-free survival (PFS) was 15.6 months in this post-crizotinib setting, by both investigator and independent review committee (IRC) assessment. Additionally, in this arm, 67 percent of patients with measurable brain metastases achieved a confirmed intracranial objective response, and intracranial PFS was 18.4 months among patients with any brain metastases at baseline. These data will be presented today at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) 17th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) being held in Vienna.
The ALTA Trial
The ALTA (ALK in Lung Cancer Trial of AP26113) trial enrolled 222 patients with ALK+ NSCLC who had been treated with and experienced disease progression on their most recent crizotinib therapy. Patients were randomized one-to-one to receive either 90 mg of brigatinib once per day (QD) (Arm A), or 180 mg QD, preceded by a lead-in dose of 90 mg QD for seven days (Arm B). Also, patients were stratified by presence of brain metastases at baseline and best response to prior crizotinib therapy.
The primary endpoint of the ALTA trial is investigator-assessed confirmed objective response rate (ORR) as measured by the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Key secondary endpoints include PFS, confirmed ORR assessed by an IRC, overall survival (OS), CNS response and PFS, duration of response, safety and tolerability.
Key Data from the ALTA Trial UpdateBrigatinib Efficacy and Safety in ALK+ NSCLC Patients:
A total of 222 patients with ALK+ NSCLC treated with prior crizotinib therapy were randomized in the study (110 patients in Arm B at the 180-mg dose level with a seven-day lead-in at 90 mg and 112 patients in Arm A at the 90-mg dose level). The last patient was enrolled in the study in September 2015.
The median follow-up was 11 months in Arm B and 10.2 months in Arm A. ALTA trial data presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, as of February 29, 2016, had median follow-up of 8.3 months in Arm B and 7.8 months in Arm A.Investigator-assessed confirmed ORR in Arm B was 55 percent. IRC-assessed confirmed ORR in Arm B was 54 percent. Investigator-assessed confirmed ORR in Arm A was 45 percent. IRC-assessed confirmed ORR in Arm A was 49 percent.
In a subgroup analysis of confirmed ORR by baseline characteristics, there was no difference in confirmed ORR based on prior chemotherapy versus no prior chemotherapy.
The subgroup analysis by best response to prior crizotinib (partial or complete response versus other) suggests that patients who had achieved partial or complete responses to prior crizotinib treatment had a significantly higher confirmed ORR, compared with patients who did not reach these reactions.
Responses in Arm B included a confirmed partial response in a patient with the ALK kinase domain G1202R mutation at baseline, which is associated with resistance to all approved tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs).
Median PFS was 15.6 months by both investigator assessment and IRC assessment in Arm B. Median PFS was 8.8 months by investigator assessment and 9.2 months by IRC assessment in Arm A.
The probability of OS at one year was 82 percent and 71 percent in Arm B and Arm A, respectively. The median OS had not been reached in either arm.Of the 44 patients with measurable intracranial brain metastases at baseline, the IRC-assessed intracranial ORR was 67 percent (12/18) in Arm B and 46 percent (12/26) in Arm A.
The median IRC-assessed intracranial PFS was 18.4 months in Arm B and 15.6 months in Arm A.The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs; = 30% of all patients, [Arm B/A]), regardless of relationship to treatment, were nausea (43%/36%), diarrhea (39%/21%), cough (36%/23%), headache (30%/28%) and increased blood creatine phosphokinase (CPK) (33%/11%).TEAEs, grade =3, occurring in =4 percent of all patients (excluding neoplasm progression; Arm B/A), were increased CPK (10%/3%), hypertension (6%/6%), pneumonia (5%/3%) and increased lipase (3%/5%).
A subset of pulmonary adverse events (AEs) with early onset (median: Day 2; range: Day 1-9) occurred in six percent of all patients (grade =3 in 3% of patients); no such events with early onset occurred after dose escalation to 180 mg QD in Arm B.
Discontinuations and dose reductions due to AEs (Arm B/A) were 10 percent/three percent and 23 percent/eight percent, respectively. Discontinuations due to documented progressive disease (Arm B/A) were 23 percent and 30 percent.
The company said, “We are encouraged by the maturing efficacy and safety profile of brigatinib in this later data cut, which adds three months of follow up compared to the data presented at ASCO. These data are intended to be submitted to the European Medicines Agency in early 2017 for marketing approval. Pending regulatory review, we expect that brigatinib may become an important therapeutic option for the crizotinib-resistant population.”
November 29, 2016: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Iclusig (ponatinib) full approval for the treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) for whom no other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is indicated; and for the treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive CML (chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase) or T315I positive Ph+ ALL. Iclusig was initially approved in December 2012 under the FDAs accelerated approval program, which provides patients earlier access to promising new drugs that treat serious conditions based on a surrogate endpoint while the company conducts additional studies to confirm the drugs clinical benefit. The therapy was granted the FDAs orphan drug designation because it is intended to treat a rare disease or condition.
This full approval and label update is based on 48-month follow-up data (as of August 2015) from the pivotal Phase 2 PACE clinical trial of Iclusig in heavily pretreated patients with resistant or intolerant CML or Ph+ ALL. These data were presented at the 2016 meetings of the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the European Hematology Association (EHA).
About Iclusig(ponatinib) Tablets
Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor. The primary target for Iclusig is BCR-ABL, an abnormal tyrosine kinase that is expressed in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and Philadelphia-chromosome positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL). Iclusig was designed using ARIAD’s computational and structure-based drug-design platform specifically to inhibit the activity of BCR-ABL. Iclusig targets not only native BCR-ABL but also its isoforms that carry mutations that confer resistance to treatment, including the T315I mutation, which has been associated with resistance to other approved TKIs. Iclusig is approved in the U.S., EU, Australia, Switzerland, Israel, Canada and Japan.
In the U.S., Iclusig is a kinase inhibitor indicated for the treatment of adult patients with chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) or Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph+ ALL) for whom no other tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is indicated.
Treatment of adult patients with T315I-positive chronic myeloid leukemia (chronic phase, accelerated phase, or blast phase) or T315I-positive Ph+ ALL.
Limitations of use: Iclusig is not indicated and is not recommended for the treatment of patients with newly diagnosed chronic phase CML.
November 7, 2016: ARIAD Pharmaceuticals beat on EPS, reporting Q3 EPS of -$0.12 versus the -$0.19 estimate. Revenue also beat coming in at $46 million versus the $41.9 million estimate.
– Affirming FY16 guidance for global Iclusig net product and royalty revenue of $170 million to $180 million.
– Affirming FY16 guidance for research and development expense of $175 million to $180 million, and sales, general and administration expense of $120 million to $125 million.
– Affirming FY16 guidance for cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities at December 31, 2016, of $280 million to $290 million.
ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Lausanne, Switzerland, is an integrated global oncology company focused on transforming the lives of cancer patients with breakthrough medicines.