Incyte loses 4 billion in capitalization following disappointing Phase III results from epacadostat

Shares in Incyte fell over 21% (Nasdaq) as trading started, wiping over $4bn from the company’s market capitalization. The plunge reflects negative results announced by the group’s management before Wall Street opened–specifically, from the Phase II ECHO-301/KEYNOTE-252 clinical trial, assessing the investigational therapy epacadostat (IDO inhibitor) in combination with Merck & Co.’s Keytruda (PD1-antagonist) and conducted on patients with metastatic melanoma.

The results have demonstrated that the combo does not increase patients’ life expectancy as compared to Keytruda alone. Moreover, the result is a defeat for researchers claiming that combining therapies increases chances of cure. Importantly, PD-1 antagonists such as Keytruda and BMS’ Opdivo have shown efficacy only in 20-30% of cases. The rest of patients apparently has not responded to this kind of drugs, whereas researchers from the two companies expected to increase the response rate by combining the two drugs.

(Source: Incyte)