Why Infinity Pharmaceuticals Inc. Shares Temporarily Spiked Higher

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What: Shares of Infinity Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: INFI  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing small molecule drugs for difficult-to-treat diseases, vaulted higher by as much as 23% after reporting positive early-stage data on IPI-145 at the American Society of Hematology (ASH) meeting over the weekend. Shares have since given up all of their gains and now sit down 6% as of this writing.

So what: Infinity's IPI-145, an oral PI3K inhibitor that is being geared at a number of cancer types, demonstrated clinical activity in treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, with the company also reporting positive phase 1 activity in treating indolent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (iNHL) as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and T-cell lymphoma. Within iNHL, IPI-145 delivered a 73% overall response rate (ORR) as a monotherapy with a complete response rate of 20%. In its CLL trial, Infinity noted an 89% nodal response in relapsed/refractory CLL patients and a 48% ORR. Advanced T-cell lymphomas demonstrated an ORR of 38%. IPI-145 was noted as being well-tolerated in all trials.

Now what: Very simply, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of data presented over the weekend and the sheer number of malignancies that Infinity is attempting to treat with IPI-145 as evidenced by the sea of abbreviations above. The key takeaway is this: IPI-145 is demonstrating early clinical success in multiple blood-borne malignancies. That in no way translates into late-stage success, but it's allowed the company to begin to look beyond just these early phase studies. IPI-145 is expected to be Infinity's cornerstone drug, so these confirmatory early trials do bode well for its ongoing studies.

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