The Imugene Ltd [ASX:IMU] share price is up 6% following a supply agreement update.
Imugene, the biotech stock, gained 600% over the last 12 months.
Let’s examine IMU’s deal with Pfizer and Merck further.
IMU inks deal with Merck and Pfizer
Imugene has signed a new clinical trial supply agreement with Merck KGaA [ETR:MRK] and Pfizer [NYSE:PFE].
The deal was signed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Imugene’s HER-Vaxx immunotherapy product as it combines with avelumab in patients with HER-2 positive gastric cancer.
Avelumab, marketed as BAVENCIO, is co-developed and co-commercialised by Merck and Pfizer.
Under the deal, IMU will receive avelumab for a Phase 2 clinical study in HER-2 positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas (neoHERIZON).
As Imugene explains:
‘neoHERIZON is an open-label, multi-center, randomized, Phase 2 clinical trial designed to assess the safety and efficacy of perioperative HER-Vaxx combined with chemotherapy with or without avelumab compared to chemotherapy alone in patients with HER-2 positive gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas. The study’s primary endpoint is pathologic complete response. Secondary endpoints include safety and biomarker evaluation.’
What are the terms of the deal?
Imugene will act as the sponsor of the study — funding the clinical trials from ‘existing budgets and resources’.
Merck KGaA and Pfizer will provide the avelumab for the duration of the study.
For reference, in its latest quarterly, IMU reported having $112 million in cash and cash equivalents, having spent $5.4 million on research and development in the September quarter.
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IMU share price outlook
Imugene said moving the HER-Vaxx into earlier gastric cancer in combination with chemotherapy ‘may improve treatment outcomes for patients with this difficult to treat cancer.’
Leslie Chong, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Imugene, commented:
‘Imugene is excited to announce this collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and Pfizer. HER-Vaxx has shown a tolerable safety profile and encouraging efficacy in patients with metastatic HER-2 positive gastric cancer, and we are looking forward to evaluating HER-Vaxx with avelumab in the perioperative clinical setting. Working together, we’re committed to finding ways to address the unmet needs of patients living with cancer.’
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