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ASH 2023 movers – an unexpected comeback for MorphoSys

MorphoSys, Blueprint and Syndax celebrate a successful ASH; Cogent not so much.

With the dust now settled on this year’s ASH conference MorphoSys has completed its zero-to-hero transformation. First data disclosure from the group’s Manifest-2 trial of pelabresib had prompted a 22% share price fall, but Monday’s 25% surge came on top of a 55% run-up into ASH, more than making up the deficit.

Other significant ASH winners included Blueprint, Syndax and Incyte. The first of those clearly beat Cogent Biosciences in the battle of indolent systemic mastocytosis therapies, and Cogent finished as the meeting’s biggest loser, having seen its stock more than halve. Elsewhere, the small caps Shattuck and Poseida fluctuated on low-key ASH poster presentations.

This analysis compares companies’ closing share prices on 11 December against 8 December, intending to capture the biggest changes over the ASH weekend, though clearly it misses any fluctuations resulting from the 2 November abstract drop. For instance Dizal and Genmab, slight fallers over the weekend, actually climbed 17% and 14% respectively from the day the abstracts came out.

Syndax, with promising ASH data on a GvHD project partnered with Incyte as well as on its menin inhibitor revumenib, started Monday with an 8% fall before recovering. It also helped that its menin competitor Kura didn’t have a big ASH presence; that group’s next important readout will come in early 2024, when it plans to report data from its ziftomenib combo trial, Komet-007.

Technically an even bigger ASH riser than MorphoSys was In8bio, whose gamma-delta T-cell candidate INB-100 was the subject of an uncontrolled, investigator-sponsored phase 1 trial in an ASH poster, showing 10 remissions among 10 leukaemia patients, with six subjects remaining relapse-free beyond one year. Still, In8bio is worth just $60m, so it has much to prove.


ASH risers

Company11 vs 8 Dec changeNote
In8bio29%Also +27% on 12 Dec on ASH poster
MorphoSys25%The markets forgive MorphoSys
Blueprint9%The search for a better Ayvakit
Syndax8%J&J makes menin a three-horse race
Incyte4%Incyte hopes to add axatilimab to the arsenal
Harpoon4%+81% vs 2 Nov
Daiichi Sankyo3%A new EZ battle shapes up
Sanofi2%Sanofi’s Sarclisa gets one up on Darzalex
Bristol Myers Squibb2%Bristol follows in Talvey’s slipstream
Regeneron1%Regeneron defends its bispecifics
Novartis1%Novartis sees early TIM-3 promise


Another micro-cap riser was Harpoon, up 81% since the ASH abstract drop on further promising data for its anti-BCMA trispecific T-cell engager HPN217.

It had already been clear that one of ASH’s biggest datasets concerned the use of Car-T therapy in autoimmune disease, a fact that seemed to lift two companies with a presence here, Autolus and Gracell, respectively up 32% and 21% since the abstract drop. These didn’t enjoy significant rises over the meeting weekend, however.


In indolent systemic mastocytosis Blueprint squared off against Cogent, and, while both appear to have efficacious follow-on projects to Ayvakit, the latter’s bezuclastinib came with a toxicity signal that investors found unacceptable, sending Cogent crashing 53% on Monday.

Arcellx had a rather mixed ASH – investor caution is understandable given what’s baked into the company’s $2.5bn valuation. A 19% share price rise made Arcellx a winner of the ASH abstract publication, but the shares lost 7% on Monday and a further 8% on Tuesday on doubts over anitocabtagene autoleucel’s median PFS benefit versus J&J/Legend’s Carvykti.

The micro-cap Shattuck Labs fell 12% over the ASH weekend on lacklustre dose-escalation data with the anti-CD47/CD40 fusion protein SL-172154. Yesterday it climbed 130% with dose-expansion results, saying nine of 14 and three of 11 evaluable patients with front-line myelodysplastic syndromes and TP53-mutated AML respectively responded to SL-172154 plus azacitidine.

Also enjoying a wild ride was Poseida – up 31% since the abstract drop and initially surging 17% as the markets digested its claim that high lymphodepletion boosted the activity of its allogeneic multiple myeloma project P-BCMA-ALLO1. But reality soon set in and the shares fell 10%.


ASH fallers

Company11 vs 8 Dec changeNote
Cogent-53%The search for a better Ayvakit
Shattuck-12%+130% on 13 Dec to a 2023 high
Poseida-10%A short-lived success for Poseida
Affimed-12%MD Anderson acimtamig study update
Vor-11%+12% vs 2 Nov, CD33 Car-T data
Arcellx-7%Arcellx still hopes to challenge Carvykti
Gracell-5%The first cell therapy winners
Innate Pharma-5%Lacutamab’s late-line promise on hold
Nurix-2%+52% vs 2 Nov, BTK degrader data
Dizal-2%Sense and serendipity in Dizal's Jackpot win
Genmab-1%Darzalex gets a first-line boost from Perseus


All of ApexOnco’s coverage of ASH, including previews, is available free to view.