Imugene (ASX:IMU) shares have hit an all-time high after the Sydney biotech company announced its cancer vaccine was continuing to show early promise in a small clinical trial.

A cohort review committee has allowed the Phase 1 trial to move into its highest dosing cohort after finding no adverse effects in any of the seven lung cancer patients who had received smaller doses of PD1-Vaxx — while in several, their tumours had stabilised or even apparently disappeared.

Two patients had shown a “complete response,” meaning their tumours were non-measurable, while four had shown stabilisation of disease. Just one patient’s tumours had gotten worse.

“Phase 1 trials are generally designed to look for safety, tolerability and early response signals to determine the optimal dose for further development,” said Imugene managing director and chief executive Leslie Chong.

“I am encouraged that we are seeing positive signals at such an early stage of our PD1-Vaxx phase 1 trial.”

Clinical results suggest that the therapy is working as designed, with patients developing antibodies to the PD1 biomarker, a checkpoint protein that cancer cells use to hide from the body’s immune system.

For the third and final stage of the study, at least three cancer patients will receive 100 micrograms of PD1-Vaxx, double the dose of the previous cohort.

Volpara, Immutep and Medlab

Elsewhere, Volpara Health Technologies (ASX:VHT) said it had received a US patent and Immutep (ASX:IMM) announced it had received a European one, while Medlab Clinical (ASX:MDC) said it would be getting a European patent soon.

Volpara said its latest patent – its 96th – protects key features of its clinical system software, which helps clinicians monitor workflow efficiency and work quality while taking mammograms.

Immutep said its European patent covers a humanised form of an Immutep antibody that’s licensed to Novartis, in conjunction with a Novartis anti-PD1 antibody molecule that’s somewhat similar to Imugene’s. (Many companies are looking to build on the blockbuster success of PD1 inhibitors like Bristol Myers Squibb‘s Opdivo and Merck‘s Keytruda)

Lastly, Medlab said the European Patent Office had sent it a notice it intended to grant the company a patent for its NanoCelle sub-micron delivery platform. Medlab said that “NanoCelle creates nano-sized water-soluble particles … overcoming issues with solubility and degradation.”

At 11.53am, Imugene shares were up 11.5 per cent to 14.5c; Medlab was up 8.3 per cent to 26c; Volpara was up 3 per cent to $1.37; and Immutep was up 1.2 per cent to 43c.