Health: Immutep bounces off decade-long lows thanks to cash from GSK
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Cancer-fighting biotech Immutep (ASX:IMM) has risen off 10-year-long lows after flagging a payment of $7.4m from British pharma giant GSK.
Immutep shares got a 14 per cent boost to 2.5c, after closing at 2.2c on Friday. The share price has languished at lows of around 2c for the last couple of months, and has been a regular bottom for the company. The last time shares dipped below 2c was in early 2009, when the company was known as Prima BioMed.
The milestone payment will come through imminently, after GSK dosed the first patient in a phase II clinical trial evaluating GSK2831781 in ulcerative colitis.
GSK2831781 is derived from Immutep’s IMP731 antibody, a depleting anti-LAG antibody technology that was exclusively licensed to GSK.
Immutep is eligible to receive up to $118m in developmental milestone payments as well as single-digit tiered royalties, if GSK2831781 is commercialised. GSK is responsible for all costs associated with the clinical development and commercialisation of GSK2831781.
Marc Voigt, chief of Immutep, previously told Stockhead that while it was known for developing drugs in the cancer field, it also had a focus on autoimmune diseases. Ulcerative colitis can also put a patient at increased risk of developing colon cancer.
“It is very encouraging to see GSK advancing their product candidate in a phase II clinical trial for ulcerative colitis, further validating LAG-3 as a potential target for therapeutics in autoimmune diseases,” Voigt told investors today.
“These partner milestone payments are an important source of nondilutive funding to the company and this capital will be deployed to further advance our extensive development programs.”
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