In a Nov. 10, 2017 research note, analyst Douglas Loe noted that Immunovaccine Inc. (IMV:TSX.V) "generated cumulative return of 37% since Echelon Wealth Partners' last update note. Immunovaccine is developing novel therapeutic and preventive vaccines for cancer and other serious diseases.
The report included updates on two of the company's DepoVax assets: DPX-Survivac and DPX-RSV.
For DPX-Survivac, the lipid-based, water-free injectable formulation of the cancer antigen survivin, enrollment is underway in several phase 1/2 studies. One is a 40-patient recurrent ovarian cancer study that combines DPX-Survivac with epacadostat, Incyte Corp.'s (INCY:NASDAQ) small-molecule indole 1,2-dioxygenase checkpoint inhibitor drug. "A second interim tumor response/immunological response update is expected later in FY Q4/17," Loe indicated.
Another Phase 1/2 trial is being conducted at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. In this 42-patient, ovarian cancer study, DPX-Survivac is being combined with Keytruda (pembrolizumab), Merck's anti-PD monoclonal antibody drug. "Interim data from that trial [are] expected by mid-2018," Loe wrote.
In a third Phase 1/2 study, the same therapies, DPX-Survivac in combination with Keytruda (pembrolizumab), are being combined but in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto is currently enrolling 25 patients for it. Loe said interim tumor and immunological response data are likely in FY H2/18 at the earliest.
As for Immunovaccine's DPX-RSV, "development is advancing in the pipeline of a few firms, so we will be watching closely for Immunovaccine to advance DPX-RSV clinical activities imminently," Loe said. DPX-RSV is a small, B-cell epitope peptide vaccine targeting the unmet medical needs in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
The biotech is "actively seeking partnership interest" for the vaccine, Loe wrote. "The next steps in DPX-RSV will be expensive steps (large RSV infection avoidance studies, or perhaps even challenge studies, will need to be conducted in Phase 3), and so we agree with management's strategy to identify cash-contributing partners before investing its own capital in new DPX-RSV clinical initiatives," he added.
At the end of Q3/17, Immunovaccine had $16.6 million in cash, "corresponding [to an] existing operating loss run rate to about two years of cash," said Loe. However, development costs will likely rise, however, as the "DepoVax pipeline expands into other medical markets beyond oncology and infectious disease" and "existing programs advance into more substantive Phase 2 studies, perhaps as early as FY H2/18."
"YTD, IMV shares have generated strong returns of 125%, with 37% of this generated since our Top Pick update, and we see strong price appreciation potential on forthcoming DPX-Survivac clinical updates as described above, independent of any new pipeline advances that Immunovaccine may undertake during our forecast period. Our PT corresponds to a one-year return of 77%," Loe wrote.
Echelon has a Top Pick status, Speculative Buy recommendation and $2.75 per share price target on Immunovaccine, whose stock is currently trading at $1.63 per share.
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Disclosures from Echelon Wealth Partners, Immunovaccine Inc., Nov. 10, 2017
Echelon Wealth Partners compensates its Research Analysts from a variety of sources. The Research Department is a cost centre and is funded by the business activities of Echelon Wealth Partners including, Institutional Equity Sales and Trading, Retail Sales and Corporate and Investment Banking.
ANALYST CERTIFICATION: Company: Immunovaccine Inc., | IMV: TSX
I, Douglas Loe, hereby certify that the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject securities or issuers. I also certify that I have not, am not, and will not receive, directly or indirectly, compensation in exchange for expressing the specific recommendations or views in this report.
Is this an issuer related or industry related publication? Issuer.
Does the Analyst or any member of the Analyst’s household have a financial interest in the securities of the subject issuer? No
Does the Analyst or household member serve as a Director or Officer or Advisory Board Member of the issuer? No
Does Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. or the Analyst have any actual material conflicts of interest with the issuer? No
Does Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. and/or one or more entities affiliated with Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. beneficially own common shares (or any other class of common equity securities) of this issuer which constitutes more than 1% of the presently issued and outstanding shares of the issuer? Yes
During the last 12 months, has Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. provided financial advice to and/or, either on its own or as a syndicate member, participated in a public offering, or private placement of securities of this issuer? Yes
During the last 12 months, has Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. received compensation for having provided investment banking or related services to this Issuer? Yes
Has the Analyst had an onsite visit with the Issuer within the last 12 months? No
Has the Analyst or any Partner, Director or Officer been compensated for travel expenses incurred as a result of an onsite visit with the Issuer within the last 12 months? No
Has the Analyst received any compensation from the subject company in the past 12 months? No
Is Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. a market maker in the issuer’s securities at the date of this report? No