In a change of pace, Pharmacyclics will have more incremental data than big leaps

The past few years have been quite eventful for Pharmacyclics ($PCYC) at ASH, as investors looked to glean more details about the emerging class of Bruton's tyrosine kinase inhibitors. But last November, FDA approved its Imbruvica for mantle cell lymphoma after one prior therapy. And since then, the biotech has racked up two additional indications for the oral drug: second-line treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and CLL with 17p deletion.

This year the conference may be a bit less earth-shattering than it has been in the past for the biotech. It's obviously taking a play out of the Celgene ($CELG) playbook; Pharmacyclics is working hard to expand the hematology indications for Imbruvica. The biotech has 37 abstracts at the conference, including frontline CLL data as well as second-line multiple myeloma data.

According to a Leerink interview of a leading physician, the most anticipated data at ASH for Pharmacyclics is the RESONATE-17 second-line data in CLL and small lymphocytic leukemia. Also in CLL, this doctor will be watching a combo trial of ABT-199 (from AbbVie and Genentech) and Rituxan.

But for Pharmacyclics to make market strides, it will likely need to wait for RESONATE-2 data for Imbruvica to treat front-line CLL patients. But that's not expected until the second half of next year. At the beginning of November, AstraZeneca ($AZN) partnered with Pharmacyclics to test Imbruvica in combination with two of the pharma's PI3 kinase pathway inhibitor candidates to treat B-cell lymphomas.

Investors seem optimistic about what they'll hear at ASH from Pharmacyclics, already sending shares up about 5% since the ASH abstracts were released.

For more:
J&J, Pharmacyclics celebrate yet another nod for leukemia med Imbruvica
J&J, Pharmacyclics and the future of Big Pharma dealmaking
J&J, Pharmacyclics win early approval for 'breakthrough' cancer drug ibrutinib

In a change of pace, Pharmacyclics will have more incremental data than big leaps

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