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Hawk’s Nest

Unusual Bull Flow into Mid-Cap Bio Ahead of Key Early 2022 Catalyst

by | Dec 20, 2021

Exelixis (EXEL) with Phase 3 data in early 2022 for cabozantinib for the treatment of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. The study focuses on using cabozantinib with atezolizumab in combination and met its primary endpoint in June while overall survival was not met.  The data released in early 2022 will focus on further patient trials and the overall survival rate as the company hopes to expand the use of their key treatment into further indications. The company plans to file an sNDA in early 2022 following its release. The $5.6B company focuses on oncology treatments primarily. They have partnerships with Ipsen, Takeda, Roche, Bristol Myers, Merck and many more. The data in November showed cabozantinib in combination with atezolizumab significantly reduced the risk of disease or progression towards death by 37%. Heptocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common forms of liver cancer and most often occurs in people with hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection. The survival rate is very low given that HCC is often diagnosed in the later stages and has progressively worsened in the last decade to between 6- and 20-months. The current treatment options include curative resection, transplant, RF ablation, and chemo. Nexavar is the 1L therapy for treatment and the combo data from EXEL showed an improvement. The company sees expansion into HCC as key as it is the fastest growing form of liver cancer and can help drive US sales for cabozantinib to nearly $4B by 2025. Hedge fund ownership rose 5% last quarter. Polar Capital a buyer of 1.2M shares. EXEL has seen some smaller bull flow into year-end including a buyer of 1000 August $21 calls on 12/20 and 1300 January 2023 $20 short puts remain in OI from 6/28.