The American Society of Hematology (ASH) annual meeting has come and gone as well as the pre-conference run up and post-conference sell-off. As the dust settles, I want to touch on a company that had good data at ASH but whose stock price has gone from bad to worse: Infinity Pharmaceuticals (INFI).
You may remember Infinity as having a tremendous run into ASCO this summer only to be relentlessly sold afterwards as their data raised questions about the rate and severity of treatment related infections. ASH was their chance to alter the sentiment and start a new trend higher. While the data were fine, the stock continues down. Why?
By way of short background, Infinity's lead product IPI-145 is an oral PI3K delta/gamma inhibitor. It is being developed for the treatment of B-cell malignancies, among some other indications. If this sounds familiar, then you might be thinking about the Gilead Sciences (GILD) drug, idelalisib, which is an oral PI3K delta inhibitor being developed for the treatment of B-cell malignancies. The main difference between the two drugs is that IPI-145 inhibits both the gamma and delata isoform whereas idelalisib focuses on the delta isoform. Infinity believes that targeting both delta and gamma isoforms will give it the best in class.
The B-cell malignancy space is also more than Gilead as you have the elephant in the room of the recently approved ibrutinib, which is being marketed by Pharmacyclics (PCYC) and Johnson and Johnson (JNJ). In addition, AbbVie (ABBV) has ABT-199 in late stage development. You can also toss in the CAR-T programs that are early but might be significant competition in years to come. While the space is likely large enough for multiple winners, the question that surrounds IPI-145 is whether it can carve out a space against such a large number of players and players with strong commercial experience.