According to the Complaint, Nektar Therapeutics ("Nektar" or the Company) is a research-based biopharmaceutical 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 subunits (CD 122) that can stimulate proliferation and growth of tumor-killing immune cells in the tumor microenvironment and increase expression of PD-1 on these immune cells.
The Complaint alleges that 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.