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ASCO 2024 movers – Affimed wins, Caribou loses

As the dust settles on ASCO the weekend’s immediate winners and losers emerge.

The ASCO conference produced two stock market winners yesterday, as Affimed shot up 69% and Olema rose 21%; the latter company didn’t have a significant presence at the meeting, but investors responded to data Pfizer presented on a competing KAT6 inhibitor.

There was worse news for Caribou, whose disappointing CB-010 update and significant change in commercial strategy for this allogeneic Car-T therapy sent its shares tumbling 26%. Several other stocks moved yesterday too, but ASCO 2024’s most significant biotech beneficiary is probably Summit, whose shares surged 272% just as the meeting was getting under way last week.

Of course, Summit’s move was the result of data toplined by press release on its partner Akeso's trial of ivonescimab, while the ivonescinab update at ASCO concerned a separate NSCLC setting and was less notable. Summit stock put on 2% yesterday, but it has been volatile: after Thursday’s surge the shares sold off 20% on 31 May.

For Affimed there was a reprieve of sorts when the company reported promising but early lung cancer data for AFM24, a CD16A-based NK cell engager targeting the EGFR protein. The group’s lead focus remains acimtamig, but last year it highlighted AFM24 as an important follow-on asset; however, until yesterday its shares were down 30% year to date.

The stock surged when uncontrolled ASCO data suggested that AFM24 might boost Tecentriq’s efficacy – on a cross-trial basis, of course. A Tecentriq combo in 15 post-PD-(L)1/chemo EGFR wild-type NSCLC patients yielded four responses, and there were also four responses among 13 subjects with EGFR-mutant disease, but the latter data were announced by press release, not at ASCO.

Pfizer boosts Olema

Olema got into KAT6 inhibition through a 2022 deal with Dr Reddy’s, but it was only at last year’s Triple meeting that it signalled its intentions with this mechanism. As such it was a major beneficiary of the ASCO update on Sunday covering Pfizer's KAT6 inhibitor, PF-07248144, in phase 1.

In a separate deal, done last year, Corbus licensed CSPC’s anti-Nectin-4 ADC, SYS6002/CRB-701, and ASCO saw this project’s CSPC-sponsored trial updated to show a 40% ORR in 15 patients given doses of at least 2.7mg/kg. Nectin-4 is in the spotlight because of Pfizer’s Padcev in urothelial bladder cancer, though Corbus’s focus appears to be primarily on ovarian cancer.


Selected share price movers over the ASCO weekend

CompanyShare price move*Note
Affimed+69%Tecentriq combo in post-PD-(L)1/chemo NSCLC: 27% ORR in 15 EGFR w/t, plus press release claiming 31% ORR in 13 EGFRm
Olema+21%Pfizer reports promising mid-stage data with the KAT6 inhibitor PF-07248144
Corbus+9%CSPC trial of SYS6002/CRB-701 shows 28% ORR (n=25), or 40% ORR at highest doses (n=15)
Agenus+8%Botensilimab + balstilimab update in MSS colorectal cancer
Ideaya+6%Ph2 IST of darovasertib in neoadjuvant uveal melanoma: 75% (9/12 pts) with eye preservation, plus press release on Ideaya-sponsored trial in same setting
Arcus+5%Update on cohort B of Arc-9 trial of etrumadenant + zimberelimab + Avastin + chemo in colorectal cancer
Moderna+4%3yr data from Keynote-942 trial of mRNA-4157 + Keytruda in adjuvant melanoma repeats 49% reduction in death vs Keytruda
Summit+2%Akeso’s Harmoni-A data, plus press release toplining Harmoni-2 study
Merus-1%Petosemtamab data offer no advance on 28 May press release
Candel-6%Aglatimagene besadenovec disappoints in NSCLC poster
Iovance-6%Update on Amtagvi + Keytruda in 1L melanoma
Immunocore-13%Brenetafusp disappoints in post-checkpoint cutaneous melanoma
ALX Oncology-16%Evorpacept + Padcev in bladder cancer shows cORR 32% (n=22), vs Padcev’s 41% in EV-301 study
Caribou-26%HLA matching strategy implemented for CB-010

Note: *3 June close, versus 31 May close.


Caribou led the fallers after its new plan for CB-010, now involving the need to provide 13 different batches of the product that can then be partially matched to each patient’s HLA, threw the commercial prospects for this allogeneic therapy into doubt.

Immunocore lost a further 13% as investors remained unconvinced about its anti-PRAME soluble T-cell receptor brenetafusp in the face of competition from Immatics. And the CD47 player ALX Oncology fell 16% as the Aspen-07 trial of its SIRPα fusion protein evorpacept combined with Padcev in bladder cancer looked no better than single-agent Padcev on a cross-trial basis.

All ApexOnco coverage of ASCO is available free to view.