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Mersana Therapeutics Trades 60% Higher on Positive Phase 1 Ovarian Cancer Trial Data

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Shares of Mersana Therapeutics reached a new 52-week high price after the company reported positive interim data from the expanded portion of its Phase 1 study of XMT-1536 for treatment of ovarian cancer.

Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Mersana Therapeutics Inc. (MRSN:NASDAQ), which is focused on discovering and developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) targeting cancers, today reported "interim safety, tolerability and efficacy data from the ongoing expansion portion of the Phase 1 study evaluating XMT-1536, its first-in-class ADC candidate targeting NaPi2b, in patients with ovarian cancer and non-small cell lung (NSCLC) adenocarcinoma." Members of the company's executive team held a conference call earlier today together with investigator Debra L. Richardson, MD, Associate Professor of Gynecologic Oncology at the Stephenson Cancer Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Sarah Cannon Research Institute, to present and discuss the trial data. The firm indicated that the data will be presented to the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2020 Virtual Scientific Program on Friday, May 29, 2020.

The company's President and CEO Anna Protopapas commented, "These data demonstrate not only that XMT-1536, our first-in-class Dolaflexin ADC targeting NaPi2b, can deliver confirmed complete responses, partial responses and durable stable disease in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, but also that these responses can deepen over time in a patient population with poor prognosis and limited treatment options...XMT-1536 continues to demonstrate that it is generally well tolerated, without the dose-limiting toxicities of other ADC platforms such as severe neutropenia, neuropathy and ocular toxicity. These are encouraging signals as we look forward to reporting more mature data in the second half of the year and continuing to advance XMT-1536 for both platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and NSCLC adenocarcinoma patients."

The firm advised that "the expansion portion of the Phase 1 study is enrolling patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer who have received up to three lines of prior therapy and in some cases four lines of prior therapy regardless of platinum status as well as patients with NSCLC adenocarcinoma who had received prior treatment with platinum-based therapy and immunotherapy or targeted agents." The company stated that the interim data reported covered 34 patients including 27 with ovarian cancer and 7 with NSCLC adenocarcinoma.

The company highlighted some of the key findings in the study including that XMT-153 achieved a 35% objective response rate, including 10% complete response rate and 80% disease control rate among 20 evaluable patients with ovarian cancer.The firm stated that XMT-1536's safety profile was consistent with previously reported dose escalation data and no new safety signals were observed. Additionally, the firm advised that promising antitumor activity was observed in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer and that the data continue to support a NaPi2b biomarker-based patient selection strategy.

Mersana Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Mass., that utilizes its proprietary ADC platforms to develop novel ADCs with the goal of achieving optimal efficacy, safety and tolerability to improve the lives of individuals fighting cancer. In addition to XMT-1536, which is currently being tested in the expansion portion of a Phase 1 proof-of-concept clinical study in patients with ovarian cancer and NSCLC adenocarcinoma, the company also has a second ADC product candidate, XMT-1592, that is targeting NaPi2b-expressing tumors. The firm advised that XMT-1592 was created using its Dolasynthen platform and is in the dose escalation portion of a Phase 1 clinical study.

Mersana Therapeutics started off the day with a market capitalization of around $634.3 million with approximately 58.95 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 4.0%. MRSN shares opened 45% higher today at $15.68 (+$4.90, +45.45%) over yesterday's $10.78 closing price and reached a new 52-week high price of $18.50. The stock has traded today between $13.26 and $18.50 per share and is currently trading at $17.55 (+$6.79, +63.10%).

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