After a slow start to the month in which they hit a low of 2.05 shares of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. (OTCBB: IMUC) have been on strong run as the biotechnology company focused on the development of novel immune-based cancer therapies continues to advance their lead product candidate, ICT-107, a dendritic cell-based vaccine targeting multiple tumor-associated antigens for glioblastoma.
That run has led up to a big Friday with shares climbing as high as 3.16 thanks in part to IMUC’s announcement that its common stock had been approved for listing on the NYSE: MKT, an approval that company President and CEO Manish Singh, Ph.D. called “an important step in our Company’s development by giving us access to a broader investor base and should provide increased transparency and liquidity for investors owning our stock.”
Trading on the NYSE: MKT is set to begin on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 under the same IMUC ticker symbol; just days before they present at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2012 Annual Meeting.
Shareholders are hoping for a repeat performance from last year’s presentation in which IMUC created significant momentum after delivering data related to its Phase I study for their ICT-107 immunotherapy treatment to fight glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). This data showed their treatment, used as an adjuvant after the standard of care chemotherapy, radiotherapy and/or resection, extended median survival by almost two years in patients treated with ICT-107 compared to those patients receiving current standard of care (38.4 months vs. 14.8 months).
Making that all the more impressive is that six of the 16 patients in the Phase I trial remained free of disease recurrence over three years with at least one patient surviving more than five years free of progression.
What has investors really excited about IMUC is the cutting-edge nature of their cancer treatment vaccine as it tracks multiple different antigens found on cancer stem cells rather than target a single tumor-specific antigen. The impact that this vaccine has could be overwhelming considering the belief that cancer stem cells are thought to be the originators of common tumor cells and lead to tumor re-growth following chemotherapy. By destroying these cancer stem cells IMUC’s ICT-107 could provide patients with longer survival without relapse.
IMUC has now moved into a new Phase II trial and they have remained relatively silent about the progress thus far.
Just going off what’s available IMUC appears to be in a better position than rival Dendreon Corporation and their immunotherapy product Provenge, a product that has been shown to increase survival by four months compared to the nearly two years offered by ICT-107.
Obviously IMUC remains in a relatively early stage of development with ICT-107 and there is still a long road ahead before securing FDA approval but with the announced listing on the NYSE: MKT helping attract investors and another positive presentation at the ASCO expected the company should have little problem advancing their efforts forward.