Blueprint Sinks, Loxo Rises After Trial Data On Potential Solid Tumor Treatment

Shares of Blueprint Medicines (BPMC) are sliding after the company reported data over the weekend regarding its early-stage candidate in RET-altered tumors. This morning, both Wedbush and JMP Securities raised their price targets on the stock, while Morgan Stanley analyst Matthew Harrison upgraded competitor Loxo Oncology (LOXO) to a buy-equivalent rating as he believes the initial Blueprint data was at the lower-end of Loxo investors' expectations.

PHASE 1 ARROW DATA: Over the weekend, Blueprint Medicines announced proof-of-concept data from the ongoing Phase 1 ARROW clinical trial of BLU-667 in patients with RET-altered solid tumors. The data from the dose escalation portion of the ARROW trial showed "broad and robust" clinical activity for once-daily dosing of BLU-667 across multiple tumor types and RET genotypes, including in patients whose disease had progressed on prior multi-kinase inhibitor therapy, the company said. As of the data cutoff date of April 6, 2018, the data showed radiographic tumor reductions in 84% of patients with RET-altered solid tumors with measurable target lesions. In patients evaluable for response, preliminary overall response rates were 50% in patients with NSCLC and 40% in patients with MTC. As of the data cutoff date, one a day dosing of BLU-667 was well-tolerated, and most adverse events reported by investigators were Grade 1 or 2.

BLUEPRINT TARGET RAISED: Following the announcement, Wedbush analyst David Nierengarten raised his price target for Blueprint Medicines to $106 from $98, citing the "encouraging" dose escalation data from the study. The analyst reiterated an Outperform rating on the shares. Meanwhile, JMP Securities analyst Konstantinos Aprilakis also raised his price target on Blueprint Medicines to $109 from $97, highlighting that among all 53 enrolled patients, an "impressive" 41 patients remained on BLU-667 as of the data cutoff date. He reiterated an Outperform rating on Blueprint shares.

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