Nektar Theraputics named in class action lawsuit for securities fraud

Nektar Theraputics

This is a federal securities class action on behalf of those who purchased or otherwise acquired Nektar securities between November 11, 2017 through October 2, 2018 (“class Period”) seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws.

The Company’s Common Stock is listed and traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) under the ticker symbol “NKTR”. If you purchased during the Class Period wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than December 31, 2018.

Nektar is a research-based bio pharmaceutical company that discovers and develops innovative medicines in areas of high unmet medical need. Nektar’s research and development pipeline of new investigational drugs includes treatments for cancer, autoimmune disease and chronic pain. Nektar purports to leverage its proprietary and proven chemistry platform to discover and design new drug candidates. These drug candidates utilize the Company’s advanced polymer conjugate technology platforms, which are designed to enable the development of new molecular entities that target known mechanisms of action.

NKTR-214, is the Company’s lead immune-oncology (“I-O”) candidate, is a biologic with biased signaling through one of the IL-2 receptor sub units (CD 122) that can stimulate proliferation and growth of tumor-killing immune cells in the tumor micro-environment and increase expression of PD-1 on these immune cells.

As alleged, throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) prior studies which attempted to pegylate IL-2 failed; (ii) NKTR-214’s extended half-life was unlikely to result in efficacy and created additional high-dosing safety concerns; (iii) NKTR-214 was less effective than IL-2 alone; (iv) the combination of NKTR-214 with nivolumab has not yet demonstrated significant positive results; and (v) as a result, Nektar’s public statements as set forth above were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On October 1, 2018, Plainview LLC published a report entitled “NKTR-214: Pegging the Value at Zero”. The report addressed the efficacy of Nektar’s lead clinical-stage drug NKTR-214, which the Company has touted as “a promising treatment for cancer, particularly in combination with checkpoint inhibitors.” The Plainview report stated that “Nektar hypothesized that IL- 2 [a naturally occurring cytokine] could be improved by adding polyethylene glycol molecules to it (pegylating it) to extend the half-life and block interaction with” a specific receptor, but that “[u]nfortunately, the anticipated benefits did not materialize and pegylation has proved to be a drag on efficacy.” The Plainview report asserted that the core concept of Nektar’s plan to develop NKTR-214 into “a new universal cancer treatment” “has never worked in practice”, and further asserted that Nektar’s decision to only disclose certain trial results represented “an unprecedented level of data opacity.”

Following publication of the Plainview report, Nektar’s stock price fell $5.63 per share, or 9.24%, over the following two trading sessions, closing at $55.33 per share on October 2, 2018.

As a result of Defendants’ wrongful acts and omissions, and the precipitous decline in the market value of the Company’s securities, Plaintiff and other Class members have suffered significant losses and damages.

COMPLAINT

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