Small-cap immunotherapy company Immutep Ltd [ASX:IMM] is absolutely flying today.
The Immutep share price is up 57.14% at time of writing. Spiking on some fantastic news the company had to share this morning.
Funnily enough, both updates relate to Phase II trials. With one in full swing, and the other set to begin in the near future.
Let’s dig into the details…
Survival rates up, and new study on the horizon
The big story out of Immutep today is its progress in treating breast cancer.
Their ongoing Phase IIb trial has uncovered some fantastic results. Showcasing the potential of their eftilaimod alpha (efti) treatment, when combined with chemotherapy. A novel approach to addressing a key protein that regulates the body’s immune system.
Anyway, what Immutep has found is that this efti treatment is proving receptive. Even working with some patients who are known to be ‘insensitive’ to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
On top of that, efti has shown a median survival benefit of +2.7 months when combined with chemotherapy. That is, in comparison to just chemotherapy alone.
With Immutep CSO and CMO Dr Frederic Triebel commenting:
‘We are very excited to see that efti is boosting the immune system by providing statistically significant increase in CD8 T cell numbers, which is correlated with prolonged survival for patients.
‘These data provide proof-of-concept and support our long-held belief that efti can provide a meaningful benefit to patients in a range of cancer settings by “pushing the gas” on the body’s immune system, representing an important landmark.’
That’s great news for patients, and great news for Immutep shareholders.
But it wasn’t the only news worth mentioning.
Immutep also shared details of a new Phase II breast cancer study set to begin early next year. An investigation that will be overseen by their Chinese partner EOC Pharma.
This study will involve 152 patients with metastatic breast cancer in China. Using a similarly randomised and double-blind methodology to the aforementioned Phase IIb trial above.
In doing so, Immutep will be able to collect even more data to conclude from. Giving them plenty of information to make a case for their efti treatment — hopefully with the same promising results. Not to mention, closer to a market release as well.
As Immutep’s CEO Marc Voigt notes:
‘EOC Pharma shares our growing excitement about the potential for the combination of efti with paclitaxel chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer.
‘Our ongoing AIPAC study evaluating the same combination is already reporting very encouraging data, including a statistically significant survival benefit of 7.1 months in patients under 65 years of age and 9.4 months for patients with a low starting monocyte count.
‘EOC Pharma’s new trial in China brings this innovative new treatment much closer to market for metastatic breast cancer patients.’
What’s next for Immutep share price?
The focus now, as it has been for Immutep, is these trials.
They need to finalise and deliver a fantastic result in order to continue their progress. Following the long and costly road of drug development.
But, should these early results hold up, they may have a major winner on their hands.
For investors, that is precisely what they are hoping for. With this biotech gradually drawing closer to the result they’re after.
However, you should be aware that trading volatile biotech stocks like Immutep carries plenty of risk. The kind of investment that won’t be the right fit for everyone.
So, if you’re determined to delve into high-risk stocks, you could benefit from risk mitigating strategies. The kind that our very own trading expert — Murray Dawes — has been refining for years.
If you want to learn some of his techniques, check out his free guide, right here.
For Money Morning