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Why Oncorus Stock Is Crashing Today

By Keith Speights – Nov 12, 2021 at 11:45AM

Key Points

  • Oncorus reported initial results from a phase 1 study of experimental immunotherapy ONCR-177.
  • The company said that ONCR-177 was well tolerated, with some encouraging efficacy results.
  • Investors, however, expected more.

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The company announced initial data from a phase 1 study.

What happened

Shares of Oncorus (ONCR -3.22%) were crashing 44.7% lower at 11:11 a.m. EST on Friday. The big decline came after the drugmaker announced initial data from its ongoing phase 1 clinical study evaluating experimental immunotherapy ONCR-177 in treating patients with solid tumors.

Oncorus reported that ONCR-177 was well tolerated. It said that there were no dose-limiting toxicities in heavily pretreated patients with surface lesions who were part of the dose-escalation part of the study.

The company also referred to the initial clinical response data as "positive." Oncorus said that three of eight evaluable patients experienced clinical benefit after receiving two doses of ONCR-177.

A scientist looking through a microscope.

Image source: Getty Images.

So why did the biotech stock plunge? Investors were clearly hoping for better results.

Of the three patients who had clinical benefit after being treated with ONCR-177, one with cutaneous melanoma had a partial response (some tumor shrinkage). Investigators observed a clinical response in another patient with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, but no details were provided. The third patient with mucosal melanoma had stable disease (the cancer didn't improve or worsen). 

So what

The most important thing to keep in mind about Oncorus' results is that they're still very early. The initial data reported by the company today was only from the first part of a four-part phase 1 study.

Now what

Oncorus is moving forward with the other parts of the study. The company expects to begin enrolling patients in the second and third parts by the end of this year. Oncorus hopes to announce additional results beginning in mid-2022.

Keith Speights has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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