ONTX Stock: Why It Significantly Increased Today

By Amit Chowdhry ● Sep 22, 2021
  • The stock price of Onconova Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONTX) increased over 25% today. This is why it happened.

The stock price of Onconova Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: ONTX) – a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel products for patients with cancer – is trading at over 25% during intraday trading today. Investors are responding positively to Onconova Therapeutics announcing preliminary safety and efficacy data from an investigator-initiated Phase 1/2a trial of oral rigosertib plus the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab in advanced KRAS mutated (KRAS+) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The data — which is being featured in a presentation at the 3rd Annual RAS Targeted Drug Development Summit — support the potential anti-cancer activity of rigosertib-nivolumab combination therapy in this indication and show that the doublet has been well tolerated to-date. And three-quarters of patients enrolled in the trial have failed two or more lines of prior therapy and all have failed immune checkpoint inhibitors in various combinations.

The key data from the presentation include:


— All enrolled patients (12/12) failed at least one line of prior therapy with a PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor (includes evaluable and non-evaluable patients)

— 9 of 12 (75%) enrolled patients failed at least two prior lines of therapy

Response Results:

— 2 of 7 (29%) evaluable patients achieved a partial response (PR)

— PRs were observed in patients with two distinct KRAS mutations (G12C, G12V)

— 3 of 7 (43%) evaluable patients achieved disease control (PR or stable disease)

— 4 of 7 (57%) evaluable patients experienced progressive disease

Adverse Event Results:

— The combination of rigosertib and nivolumab has been well-tolerated and the maximum tolerated dose has not been reached to date. Treatment-related adverse events were mostly mild with two grade 3 adverse events.

— 3 patients discontinued study drug (2 grade 2 genitourinary toxicities, 1 dose-limiting grade 3 hyponatremia)

— No unexpected safety events or synergistic toxicities have been observed


“The data being presented today support the potential applicability of rigosertib’s mechanism of action against multiple KRAS mutations and its synergy with immuno-oncology therapeutics. Radiographic responses were seen across multiple KRAS variants, which potentially differentiates rigosertib from other RAS pathway modulators that target particular KRAS mutations. These responses were observed at the primary tumor site as well as metastatic sites such as the pleura and bone. These results also suggest that rigosertib may augment the response to checkpoint inhibitors, which is consistent with observations from preclinical studies, with potential applicability to indications such as NSCLC, melanoma, and others. Looking forward, we will continue to leverage our investigator-initiated study program to advance rigosertib’s clinical development in high-need KRAS mutated indications while keeping our primary focus on our lead ON 123300 (narazaciclib) program.”

— Steven M. Fruchtman, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Onconova

“Combining rigosertib with the immune checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab has been well-tolerated and notably led to partial responses in 29% of evaluable patients who had previously progressed on prior checkpoint inhibitor therapies. This safety and early efficacy signal highlights the combination of rigosertib and nivolumab’s ability to target KRAS mutated NSCLCs and potentially overcome immune checkpoint inhibitor resistance mechanisms. Importantly, responses were seen with different KRAS+ variants, addressing a critical unmet need.”

— Rajwanth Veluswamy, M.D., Assistant Professor, Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Principal Investigator of the trial

“We look forward to the continuation of this study and to continue development of the rigosertib nivolumab combination as a potential treatment for patients with limited therapeutic options.”

— Mark S. Gelder, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Onconova

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes. Before making any investment, you should do your own analysis.