The Imugene (ASX:IMU) share price has rocketed 80% since August. Here’s why

Shares in the biopharma company are enjoying a good run this year. We take a closer look

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Group of Imugene scientists cheering in the lab after the company received another patent for HER-Vaxx

Image source: Getty Images

The Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) share price is flat at 52.5 cents in early trade today after finishing 4.5% in the red yesterday.

However, shares in the biopharma company have climbed 17% in the past month. They are also up 81% since the start of August, adding to their impressive run in the last year.

A string of fundamental updates from the company has investors placing bids to secure a spot in Imugene. Let’s take a closer look at what’s been driving returns lately.

What’s up with Imugene lately?

The Imugene share price started rising again in mid-October, bouncing off a low of 39.5 cents. Back then the company released an investor presentation on its technology and treatment platforms.

Even with the company’s operations and clinical trial milestones on full display, investors had a dull reaction to the update.

Although, investors have been rewarding ASX health care shares these past few months, indicating strengths in the broad sector. For instance, around the same time in October, the S&P/ASX 200 Health Care index (ASX: XHJ) also sprung off its low and accelerated north.

Imugene then announced its strategic partnership with clinical-stage biotechnology company Eureka Therapeutics on November 1. The pair are set to explore the therapeutic potential of combining technologies for the treatment of solid tumours. The Imugene share price jumped on the news.

Following this, Imugene advised of a new clinical supply agreement with pharmaceutical giants Merck KGaA (ETR: MRK) and Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE).

Merck has been on the quest to develop novel treatment solutions in oncology over the past few years, so too has Pfizer. As such, the trio will investigate Imugene’s HER-Vaxx therapy in combination with Avelumab, co-developed by Pfizer and Merck.

Whereas HER-Vaxx is specifically designed to treat tumours, Avelumab works by blocking a certain molecule that suppresses the immune system.

The Phase 2 trial will investigate how effective HER-Vaxx and Avelumab are as a combination therapy with chemotherapy versus placebo with a certain type of gastric/gastroesophageal cancer.

Imugene share price snapshot

After closing as high as 60.5 cents on 9 November, the Imugene share price has cooled off and marched back to its current levels.

Imugene shares have soared more than 377% in the past 12 months and 425% this year to date.

Despite this, they have levelled off in the past 2 weeks and are down around 3% in the past week. It hasn’t been all downhill in this time, however, with the share still closing on top on a number of trading days.

For context, the S&P/ASX 200 index (ASX: XJO) has gained around 10% over the past 12 months and 12% this year to date.

Should you invest $1,000 in Imugene right now?

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The author has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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