• Immutep has published a study of its Phase 2 study 
  • Imugene progresses on Phase 1 trial
  • EBOS and Incannex released acquisition news


Immutep publishes study

Immunotherapy specialist Immutep (ASX:IMM) announced that new interim data from its Phase 2 TACTI-002 trial has been published in an abstract.

The publication is in advance of the virtual European Lung Cancer Congress, which will take place from 30 March.

The Phase 2 TACTI-002 study is evaluating IMM’s lead product candidate, eftilagimod alpha, in combination with Merck’s pembrolizumab to treat ‘Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma’ or ‘non-small cell lung cancer’.

Eftilagimod alpha has already been granted Fast Track designation by the US FDA in April 2021.

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Imugene’s CHECKvacc Phase 1 trial update

Another immunotherapy specialist, Imugene (ASX:IMU), has confirmed that its Phase I clinical trial of candidate drug, CHECKvacc, will proceed to the second dose cohort.

The study is being done at the City of Hope (CoP), a world-renowned independent cancer research and treatment centre near Los Angeles.

The team at CoP has confirmed that CHECKvacc is safe, with no dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) and no serious adverse reactions observed after reviewing the first 3 patients dosed with the lowest dose of CHECKvacc.

The drug is being studied to treat patients with ‘Advanced or Metastatic Triple Negative Breast Cancer’.

It’s anticipated to run for 24 months, and will be funded from existing budgets and resources.

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Healthcare M&A announcements

Cannabis stock Incannex (ASX:IHL) is on the M&A trail, announcing plans to acquire APIRx Pharmaceutical USA.

APIRx is a biotech focused on research, development, and production of prescription pharmaceutical cannabinoid medicines. It has 22 active clinical and pre-clinical research and development projects utilising proprietary technologies.

The acquisition is set to bring Incannex a diverse portfolio of therapeutic candidates targeted at treating an extensive range of conditions.

The proposed acquisition price is US$93.3m in all-scrip transaction, subject to shareholder approval.

Meanwhile, pharma distributor EBOS Group (ASX:EBO) said its acquisition of unlisted Pacific Health Group will not be opposed by competition regulator, the ACCC.

ACCC Commissioner Stephen Ridgeway said: “We concluded that EBOS and Pacific Health Group would continue to face strong competition from several other distributors and manufacturers of these medical devices.”

Pacific Health Group has a presence in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, and distributes medical devices and consumables through its trading name, LifeHealthcare.

EBOS has agreed to pay $1.17bn for the business.

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