A slew of Big Pharma suitors could be looking to buy Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX), according to reports that sent MRTX stock close to a breakout Wednesday.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Mirati has drawn takeover interest ahead of a key data readout next month. Potential buyers include Pfizer (PFE), Merck (MRK), Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY) and AstraZeneca (AZN).
Mirati is working on a number of cancer treatments. But of key investor interest is its non small-cell lung cancer efforts. The company is working on a treatment for patients with a mutation in their KRAS gene.
On today’s stock market, MRTX stock surged 11.3% to 95.85. That followed a 15.5% pop on Tuesday. Shares narrowly broke out of a cup base with a buy point at 95.79, according to MarketSmith.com.
MRTX Stock: Rivaling Amgen’s Approved Drug
Mirati is already working on launch preparation for adagrasib, its potential lung cancer treatment. The FDA is expected to decide whether to approve adagrasib by Dec. 14. Also next month, Mirati will unveil the results of adagrasib plus Merck’s Keytruda in previously untreated lung cancer patients.
Amgen‘s (AMGN) Lumakras also targets the same mutation in the KRAS gene. These mutations have close ties to cancer and have, historically, been difficult to target. Lumakras has now been on the market for over a year.
“We think an adagrasib approval is more likely than not, at which point the label is likely to be heavily scrutinized, as investors will compare it to Lumakras’ label to determine the competitive profile of the new entrant into the market,” SVB Securities analyst Andrew Berens said in a recent report.
He has an outperform rating on MRTX stock.
Mirati declined to comment on the speculation.
“We are driven by the desire to improve patient outcomes and are actively looking forward to several upcoming critical company milestones including the potential approval of adagrasib for patients with NSCLC with a KRAS G12C mutation,” a Mirati spokesman said in an email.
MRTX stock has a strong Relative Strength Rating of 85, according to IBD Digital. This puts shares in the top 15% of all stocks in terms of 12-month performance.
Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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