The usual suspects in new drugs that harness the immune system to better target cancer are Merck, Bristol-Myers Squibb, AstraZeneca and Roche. They've developed medicines known as PD-1 or PD-L1 inhibitors, which essentially reveal cancer cells to our bodies' natural defense systems.
They'll each have their own updates, but analysts are also keeping a close eye this year on Incyte, which is developing a medicine that takes a different immunotherapy approach, called an IDO1 inhibitor. The concept is similar: stopping cancer's ability to evade the immune system. And Incyte is testing its drug, called epacadostat, in combination with both Bristol's Opdivo and Merck's Keytruda to see how and where it works best.
According to Leerink Research, epacadostat reflects $32 a share, or about 28 percent, of Incyte's valuation. Analyst Michael Schmidt says the stock could swing up or down 10 to 15 percent based on whether the data meet the Street's expectations.
NewLink Genetics, Bristol-Myers and Roche's Genentech also have IDO inhibitors in the pipeline.