Walgreens Boots Alliance (WGA) is up more than $3, or 5.5% on the day on news KKR & Co. has approached it about a buyout. Walgreens has been weighing whether to take the company private in what would be the largest leveraged buyout in history, as reported by CNBC
However, Walgreens’ outstanding debt load, roughly $17 billion, according to its most recent regulatory filing, may further complicate acquisition talks. A number of deals to buy retailers led by private equity firms in recent years have resulted in bankruptcy, including Toys R Us.”
Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR)
Nektar Therapeutics is exploding after encouraging Phase 1a clinical trial data on the safety and tolerability of NKTR-358. Shares are up $2.20 on the day.
“NKTR-358 is designed to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions by correcting the immune system imbalance that results from reduced numbers and impaired function of immune-regulating Treg cells. NKTR-358 works by targeting the interleukin-2 receptor complex to stimulate the proliferation and activation of Treg cells. NKTR-358 was discovered by Nektar and is being co-developed and commercialized in partnership with Eli Lilly and Company,” according to the company’s press release.
Mirati Therapeutics Inc. (MRTX)
Shares of MRTX are up $1.46 on the day after presenting data from ongoing clinical trials of sitravatinib in combination with nivolumab in metastatic urothelial cancer patients with documented progression on a platinum-chemotherapy and checkpoint inhibitor, per the company’s press release.”Sitravatinib is a spectrum-selective kinase inhibitor that potently inhibits receptor tyrosine kinases, including TAM family receptors (TYRO3, Axl, Mer), that has the potential to increase responsiveness in patients whose tumors are resistant to checkpoint inhibitors. The initial efficacy data from the Phase 2 clinical trial presented today in patients with checkpoint refractory mUC is promising and extends the clinical benefit data beyond what has already been demonstrated by sitravatinib combined with nivolumab in checkpoint refractory non-small cell lung cancer,” said Charles M. Baum, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Mirati.