Biotechnology firm headquartered in Australia, Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) is a clinical stage immuno-oncology player that develops novel immunotherapies to treat and eradicate cancerous tumours. The company’s unique platform technologies hold the potential to attain an equivalent or greater effect than synthetically produced monoclonal antibody (mAb) and other immunotherapies.
Imugene has recently released its Quarterly 4C report for three months ended 30 September 2019 on the ASX. During the quarter, the company achieved the following significant milestones:
Presented HER-Vaxx Oral Presentation at ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer (July 2019)
Dr Marina Maglakelidze from the Research Institute of Clinical Medicine in Tbilisi, Georgia, presented new positive data from HER-Vaxx cancer vaccine Phase 1b study at ESMO (European Society for Medical Oncology) World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer held in Barcelona, Spain.
The presentation highlighted that the patients receiving the optimal biological dose of IMU-131 HER2/neu HER-Vaxx B-cell immunotherapy continued to pose encouraging clinical response and cancer-fighting antibody generation rates. Moreover, patients maintained high and strong levels of HER-2 targeting Ab, indicating the presence of a durable response with no resistance developed.
Announced Intention to acquire oncolytic virotherapy (OV) CF33 (July 2019)
Imugene notified about its intention to expand its portfolio via licensing of oncolytic virotherapy CF33 from City of Hope Cancer Centre in July 2019. The company’s proposal to license CF33 is subject to:
- Shareholder approval at the Extraordinary General Meeting, which is planned to be held on 18th November 2019, and
- Several customary conditions precedent.
Imugene intends to conduct Phase 1 clinical trials for CF33 in 2020. The company has recently appointed Professor Yuman Fong to lead its OV Scientific Advisory Board. Lately, City of Hope researchers have also received a sizeable grant from the US Department of Défense to study CF33 in gastric cancer.
Presented HER-Vaxx, B-Vaxx and PD1-Vaxx Presentations at ESMO Congress (September 2019)
Recently, three presentations were presented by the medical investigators at the ESMO in Barcelona, Spain. The following table summarises the key focus of the presentations presented at the event:
Imugene informed that the oncolytic virus, CF33 and the anti PD-1 immunotherapy, PD1-Vaxx are likely to enter into the clinic in 2020.
Reported robust balance sheet
During the September 2019 quarter, Imugene used $5.3 million in the operating activities, which was higher than earlier periods as it incorporated additional supplier payments from the June 2019 quarter and some larger annual lump sum fees.
Imugene expects to receive $4.1 million from the Australian Government’s R&D tax incentive system during the December quarter.
Imugene mentioned that it has a strong balance sheet in place and is well funded to achieve its commercial and clinical targets. The company had a decent cash balance of $13.8 million in the bank as at 30th September 2019 and has estimated a total cash outflow of ~$5 million for the next quarter including sizeable expected R&D expenditure of $3.48 million.
Imugene’s is advancing in the HER-Vaxx Phase 2 clinical trial by dosing further HER-2+ gastric cancer patients with its IMU-131 (HER-Vaxx) cancer immunotherapy. Imugene believes that its management team is efficient enough to manage the increased expenditures that the company is likely to incur as it continues to navigate Phase 2 trials.
Stock Performance: IMU shares were trading at $0.023 on 29th October 2019 (AEST: 1:56 PM). The stock has delivered a return of 27.78 per cent in the last six months.
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