A slew of Big Pharma suitors could be looking to buy Mirati Therapeutics (MRTX), according to reports sending MRTX stock close to a breakout on Wednesday.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that Mirati has raised interest in an acquisition 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 greatest interest to investors is the non-small cell lung cancer effort. The company is working on a treatment for patients with a mutation in their KRAS gene.
In the current stock market, the MRTX share is up 11.3% to 95.85. That followed a 15.5% pop on Tuesday. According to MarketSmith.com, the shares narrowly broke out of a cup base with a buy point of 95.79.
MRTX Stock: Competitive with Amgen’s approved drug
Mirati is already preparing for launch of adagrasib, the potential lung cancer treatment. The FDA is expected to decide on Dec. 14 whether to approve adagrasib. Also next month, Mirati will reveal 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 links to cancer and have historically been difficult to address. Lumakras has been on the market for over a year now.
“We believe an approval of adagrasib is more likely than not, at which point the label will likely come under heavy scrutiny as investors will benchmark it against Lumakras’ label to determine the competitive profile of the new entrant to the market.” analyst SVB Securities. 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 actively look forward to several upcoming critical company milestones, including the potential approval of adagrasib for patients with NSCLC with a KRAS G12C mutation,” a Mirati spokesperson said in a statement. e-mail.
MRTX stocks have a strong Relative Strength Rating of 85, according to IBD Digital. This puts stocks 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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