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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.
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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