It was a good day for some of ASX-listed cancer therapy stocks yesterday, with three companies releasing seperate announcements that sent their share prices higher.

Cancer therapy stocks Invion (ASX:IVX), Immutep (ASX:IMM), and Imugene (ASX:IMU) all rose after pleasing investors with their announcements.

Invion leads ASX cancer stocks with INV-043 update

Invion rose by 10 per cent after presenting the initial proof-of-concept testing results on INV-043, the company’s latest Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) using the Photosoft technology.

Key findings from the study indicate that INV-043 has greater anti-cancer activity, and better cancer-targeting characteristics than previous generations of APIs developed by Invion.

Specifically, the study found that INV-043 has around 50 times greater phototoxicity than Invion’s previous API (IVX-P03).

INV-043 also displayed fluorescence characteristics under blue light, which illuminated tumour growths.

Invion focuses on transforming the Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) technology for novel and effective treatments for cancer.

Its novel photo-sensitiser (the agent used in PDT) is called IVX-PDT, and is based on the Photosoft technology, which is licensed to it by Hong Kong-based RMW Cho Group.

Invion has an agreement with RMW Cho to conduct the clinical development of the Photosoft technology globally.

To achieve this, the company is collaborating with leading global medical research institutes the Hudson Institute of Medical Research and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

IVX-PDT aims to be more effective at targeting and killing cancers without harmful side effects and minimal discomfort.

Previous tests carried on IVX-PDT indicated that it is more effective at killing cancer cells at lower concentrations.

Immutep to present at Virtual Healthcare Conference

Immutep rose by 4.4 per cent yesterday after announcing that its CEO, Marc Voight, has been invited to participate in the Jeffries Virtual Healthcare Conference, which is taking place from June 1-4.

Voight is scheduled to conduct a presentation, followed by a Q&A session along with the company’s chief scientific and medical officer, Dr Frederic Triebel.

Immutep is working primarily in the field of cancer immunotherapy using the LAG3 immune control mechanism.

Lymphocyte-activation gene 3, or LAG-3, is a gene that codes a protein, which is involved in the regulation of the immune system.

LAG-3 is being used for many immunotherapy treatments, and was discovered in 1990 by Dr Triebel.

The company has now become the global leader in LAG-3 products, with more LAG-3-related intellectual property and product candidates  than any other company in the industry.

Imugene’s management increased stake in the company

Imugene leapt by more than 12 per cent after announcing that its CEO Leslie Chong, and executive chairman Paul Hopper have increased their shareholding in the company following exercise of options.

Chong has exercised 36.2 million options at an exercise value of $1,517,000, with a remaining 13.8 million options still to be exercised in the near future.

Hopper meanwhile, has exercised 25 million options at an exercise value of $1,070,000.

Immugene is an immuno-oncology company developing a range of new and novel immunotherapies that seek to treat cancer patients and eradicate tumours.

Its product pipeline includes multiple immunotherapy B-cell vaccine candidates, and an oncolytic virotherapy aimed at treating a variety of cancers in combination with standard of care drugs.

It also conducts studies in the emerging immunotherapies such as CAR-T’s for solid tumours.

The company has recently entered into a licensing agreement with US-based cancer treatment centre, the City of Hope, for the patents covering a novel combination immunotherapy.

In general however, ASX-listed cancer-related stocks have done well over the past year, as can be seen from the table below.

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Immuno therapeutic stocks, in particular, are the hot and new emerging trend in this space at the moment

Prescient (ASX:PTX), for example, has risen by 122 per cent in the past 12 months. The company is currently developing OmniCAR, a next-generation CAR-T therapy platform. According to the company, OmniCAR offers a number of potential benefits over existing CAR-T therapies, including control, safety, flexibility and efficacy.

Chimeric (ASX:CHM) is another immunotherapy company that has gained attention. The company is focused on developing its oncology pipeline with novel cell therapy technologies.

It is using chlorotoxin, an ingredient extracted from scorpion venom, to direct T cells to target glioblastoma cancer cells.