In a Nov. 25 research note, Dawson James analyst Jason Kolbert reported that OncoSec Medical Inc. (ONCS:NASDAQ) licensed the rights to the Cliniporator gene delivery platform and will use and evaluate it, having already received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to do so, in an upcoming COVID-19 trial.
In this Phase 1 study, to be held at Providence Health, OncoSec's DNA-encodable COVID-19 vaccine candidate, CORVax12, will be assessed. CORVax12, Kolbert relayed, is a combination of OncoSec's TAVO, short for tavokinogene telseplasmid, and the National Institutes of Health's SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein.
"CORVax12 may produce a stronger, longer-lasting immune response and, as such, provide enhanced protection against COVID-19 and other viruses, too," Kolbert commented, adding, "Why is this so important? Consider the patient populations at risk. The elderly and immune-compromised may not be capable of mounting an adequate immune response."
For cancer patients, the goal is of TAVO is to "reverse resistance in patients receiving checkpoint therapies. TAVO, which is plasmid-based interleukin-12, is administered locally via OncoSec's electroporation gene delivery system. TAVO induces the local expression of interleukin-12, turning 'cold' tumors 'hot'and enabling checkpoint therapies such as Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to be effective," explained Kolbert.
The analyst discussed the reasons why OncoSec has licensed and is moving forward with IGEA Clinical Biophysics' Cliniporator.
The platform employs low voltage and longer pulses, which is more desirable for delivering DNA vaccines than a system employing high voltage and shorter pulses. Additionally, OncoSec management has come to believe that using Cliniporator to internally deliver TAVO to lung and liver cancer targets may be more effective than using its own investigative visceral lesion applicator (VLA). It bases this on data from its VLA program.
Another factor in OncoSec favoring the Cliniporator is time saved. For one, the biotech already has the green light from the FDA to use it in the CORVax12 trial. Two, the Cliniporator already has a CE Mark, which should accelerate the time required to get into the clinic.
Dawson James has a $10 per share price target on OncoSec Medical, the stock of which is currently trading at about $5.46 per share.[NLINSERT]
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