The Immutep Ltd (ASX: IMM) share price is climbing in late-morning trade after announcing a new European patent grant. At the time of writing, the biotechnology company’s shares are swapping hands for 44 cents, up 2.35%.
What was announced?
Investors are pushing Immutep shares higher after digesting the company’s positive update.
According to its release, Immutep advised that it has been granted a patent to add to its portfolio. Approved by the European Patent Office, the latest addition will seek to further protecting Immutep’s intellectual property.
The new patent is titled, ‘Combination therapies comprising antibody molecules to LAG-3’ (patent number EP3317301).
Immutep stated that the patent discusses LAG525, a humanised form of its IMP701 antibody. This is out-licensed to Novartis AG. The new patent also explains how to use LAG525 and spartalizumab. This is an anti-PD-1 antibody molecule that can be used to treat cancer patients.
Developed by Immutep, IMP701 is a therapeutic antibody previously used to target LAG-3. The antibody works in controlling the signalling pathways, activating T cell function. Thus, it removes two brakes to allow the immune system to kill cancer cells.
Immutep noted that rights to the development and commercialisation of IMP701 are exclusively licensed to Novartis. Currently, LAG525 is being evaluated in several trials by Novartis in combination with its PD-1 inhibitor spartalizumab. In addition, Immutep is eligible to receive development-based milestone payments and sales-based royalties on achieving its agreed targets.
The EP3317301 patent is also jointly owned by Novartis and Immutep, and is set to expire on 28 July 2036.
Immutep share price review
In the past 12 months, the Immutep share price has gained 250%, with most of those gains coming in 2020. Year-to-date, the company’s shares are up just 5% after recording heavy selling during March.
On valuation grounds, Immutep has a market capitalisation of roughly $292.4 million, with 672.3 million shares outstanding.