Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY) Reports Successful Melanoma Trial

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Investors in Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY) will rejoice from the company’s announcement yesterday that its melanoma therapy met its primary endpoint in a late-stage trial.

Shares vaulted 81.1% yesterday to $6.61 with 102.35 million shares changing hands.

Array BioPharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of targeted small molecule drugs to treat patients afflicted with cancer.  It has five registration studies currently advancing. These programs include three cancer drugs, binimetinib (MEK162), encorafenib (LGX818) and selumetinib [partnered with AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN)].

Array BioPharma and French partner Pierre Fabre jointly announced favorable results for their binimetinib and encorafenib candidate treatments in a phase 3 trial of patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma.

Array acquired the Encorafenib BRAF inhibitor from Novartis (NYSE:NVS) in 2015. Binimetinib is a small molecule MEK inhibitor.

Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY)’s melanoma treatments meet primary endpoint

“The COLUMBUS Part 1 trial results demonstrate a robust PFS benefit associated with the combination of binimetinib plus encorafenib versus vemurafenib in patients with BRAF-mutant melanoma,” said Ron Squarer, Chief Executive Officer, Array BioPharma. “We look forward to working with global regulatory authorities as they evaluate our planned submission.”

The two drugs in combination significantly improved progression free survival in melanoma patients compared to using a single rival melanoma treatment (14.9 months versus 7.3 months).

The company expects results from COLUMBUS Part 2 trials in mid-2017.

According to one analyst, the trial results place Array in an advantageous position in a market forecast to be $2 billion by 2022, though it will be competing with Swiss pharma biggies such as Novartis (NYSE:NVS) and Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY).

Yesterday, research firm Piper Jaffray reiterated their Overweight rating on Array and moved up their price target from $7 to $10.

Leerink Partners also reaffirmed their Outperform rating and boosted their price target from $6 to $9.

These projections imply an upside for Array in the range of 36 – 51% from current levels.

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