Mirati sets date for closely watched clinical KRAS readout

Mirati Therapeutics has grown into a biotech with a $3.4 billion market cap on the back of excitement about KRAS. (Getty Images)

Mirati Therapeutics is set to reveal the first clinical data on its closely watched KRAS G12C inhibitor MRTX849 Oct. 28. The readout is a key moment in the fairly short history of the drug and Mirati, shares in which have soared in the updraft created by data on Amgen’s rival asset. 

San Diego-based Mirati is in the spotlight because of its involvement with KRAS, a cancer target once thought to be undruggable. Amgen ramped up hopes for KRAS inhibitors when it linked its therapy, the first of its kind to enter the clinic, to a 50% response rate in lung cancer patients. Shares in Mirati shot up by almost 50% in the days following the release of the Amgen data.

A subsequent readout from Amgen’s clinical trial tempered expectations somewhat, although that is as much a reflection of how hopes had risen in the run-up to the update as anything. The response rate in the Amgen trial has remained up around 50% as the trial has expanded. 

Mirati has grown into a biotech with a $3.4 billion market cap on the back of excitement about KRAS, which Amgen has fueled with its readouts. Now, Mirati is set to provide an early hint as to whether it can live up to that valuation.

Later this month, Mirati will present the first clinical trial data on MRTX849 at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Pasi Janne will present the data.

The clinical readout is the most closely watched of several updates Mirati will provide at the event. Janne’s presentation will follow a preclinical update by Mirati Chief Scientific Officer James Christensen, whose presentation is titled "The KRAS G12C Inhibitor, MRTX849, Provides Insight Toward Therapeutic Susceptibility of KRAS Mutant Cancers." 

Mirati is also presenting preclinical data on MRTX849 in two posters, which will cover the discovery of the drug and its use in reconditioning the tumor microenvironment in combination with an anti-PD-1 therapy.