In a Sept. 24 research note, analyst Ram Selvaraju reported that three days earlier, Clinical Cancer Research published "positive" preliminary clinical data on Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s (INO:NASDAQ) MEDI0457 in head-and-neck cancer. "The published data give us hope that the MedImmune study could report positive results in 2019."
Results were from the 22-patient, Phase 1b/2 trial evaluating the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity of Inovio's DNA immunotherapy, MEDI0457, in patients with human papillomavirus-associated, head-and-neck squamous cell cancer who had undergone either surgery or chemoradiation treatments.
After patients received four MEDI0457 doses, analysis of the data showed that of the 21 evaluable patients, 18 demonstrated "elevated antigen-specific T cell activity" along with "persistent consistent cellular responses" one year out. Some participants reported mild injection site reactions from treatment but no adverse events.
"However, the most exciting observation," Selvaraju pointed out, "was from one patient whose cancer relapsed and spread to lymph nodes and skin seven months after completion of adjuvant chemoradiation therapy." The patient, given Opdivo (nivolumab), had a complete response to treatment, as noted via radiography, after four cycles, an atypical response, according to the lead investigator. The patient stayed in remission two years after being started on anti-PD-1 therapy.
The analyst noted that "while we cannot rule out the possibility that the remission may be a result of Opdivo alone, existing evidence suggests that MEDI0457 may have primed the immune system and boosted the effects of the subsequent anti-PD-1 therapy, leading to a durable complete remission."
H.C. Wainwright & Co. has a Buy rating and a $13 per share target price on Inovio, whose current share price is about $5.16.[NLINSERT]
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Disclosures from H.C. Wainwright & Co., Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., September 24, 2018
Investment Banking Services include, but are not limited to, acting as a manager/co-manager in the underwriting or placement of securities, acting as financial advisor, and/or providing corporate finance or capital markets-related services to a company or one of its affiliates or subsidiaries within the past 12 months.
I, Raghuram Selvaraju, Ph.D. and Yi Chen, Ph.D. CFA , certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies.
None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).
As of August 31, 2018 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Neither the research analyst nor the Firm has any material conflict of interest in of which the research analyst knows or has reason to know at the time of publication of this research report.
The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services.
The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report.
The Firm does not make a market in Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. as of the date of this research report.