Array Biopharma Inc (ARRY) Stock Surges After Cancer Drug is Shown to Work in Phase 3 Study

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Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY) wants to find a way to make those individuals’ lives who are living with cancer a bit easier, and they believe they have done just this with one of their latest drugs, binimetinib. The oral MEK inhibitor is intended for patients with various forms of advanced melanoma, and low-grade serous ovarian cancer. It just finished a Phase 3 study on patients with NRAS-mutant melanoma (also known as NEMO). The results? Quite intriguing — and that’s why the stock is surging in pre-market trading this morning, with gains of over 23%.

Array Biopharma Inc.’s (NASDAQ:ARRY) Phase 3 study showed that the drug worked to improve the progression-free survival (PFS) rate in patients significantly over those who were treated with dacarbazine. The median PFS for those on dacarbazine was 1.5 months compared to 2.8 months for those who were taking the binimetinib drug. The drug was also well-tolerated for the most part.

Array Biopharma Inc (NASDAQ:ARRY) next has plans to submit this drug for marketing approval sometime in the first half of 2016.

“The presence of an NRAS mutation is a poor prognostic indicator for patients with advanced melanoma,” said Keith T. Flaherty, M.D., Associate Professor, Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Director of Developmental Therapeutics, Cancer Center, Massachusetts General Hospital. “I am encouraged the NEMO trial met its primary endpoint and look forward to sharing the full results soon. As the first targeted therapy with positive results in NRAS melanoma, binimetinib will be a welcome addition in this high unmet need population, especially for patients whose disease has progressed following treatment with immunotherapy.”

The stock decreased 0.52% or $0.02 during the last trading session, hitting $3.83. Approximately 628,302 shares traded hands. ARRY shares have declined 46.88% since May 13, 2015 and are currently downtrending. It has underperformed the S&P500 by 43.20%.

The institutional sentiment decreased to 1.25 in Q2 2015. It’s down 0.22, from 1.47 in 2015Q2. The ratio is negative, as 19 funds sold all their Array Biopharma Inc shares they owned while 44 reduced their positions. 24 funds bought stakes while 55 increased their total positions. Institutions now own 152.30 million shares which is 8.83% more than the previous share count of 139.95 million in 2015Q2.

Bvf Inc Il holds 8.92% of its total portfolio in Array Biopharma Inc, equating to 9.68 million shares. First Light Asset Management Llc owns 988,589 shares representing 2.23% of their total US portfolio. Moreover, Deerfield Management Co has 1.72% of their total portfolio invested in the company, equating to 9.73 million shares. The California-based Redmile Group Llc has a total of 1.71% of their portfolio invested in the stock. Longwood Capital Partners Llc, a California-based fund reported 480,020 shares owned.

Since May 12, 2015, the stock had 5 insider buys, and 0 selling transactions for a total of $17.32 million in net activity. Redmile Group – Llc bought 782,592 shares worth $3.58 million. Baum Charles M sold 25,000 shares worth $184,483.

Array BioPharma Inc. is a biopharmaceutical firm focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule drugs to treat patients afflicted with cancer. The company has a market cap of $549.08 million. The Company’s wholly owned clinical stage drugs include Filanesib in Phase II clinical trials, is indicated for Kinesin spindle protein , inhibitor for MM; ARRY-797 in Phase II clinical trials, indicated for p38 inhibitor for Lamin A/C-related dilated cardiomyopathy (LMNA-DCM); ARRY-502 in Phase II clinical trials, indicated for CRTh2 antagonist for asthma, and ARRY-614 in Phase I clinical trials, is indicated for p38/Tie2 dual inhibitor for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). It has 78.64 P/E ratio.

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