The Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) share price has shot up during early afternoon trade.
This comes after the company announced an update on its phase 1 clinical trial of its novel cancer-killing virus, CF33-hNIS.
Developed by City of Hope, the oncolytic virus has demonstrated in shrinking solid tumours in preclinical laboratory and animal trials. This includes colon, lung, breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer tumours.
City of Hope is one of the largest cancer research and treatment organizations in the United States.
At the time of writing, the clinical stage immuno-oncology company’s shares are 4.24% higher to 17.2 cents.
Imugene commences Vaxinia study
In its release, Imugene advised it has dosed the first patient in the phase 1 clinical trial of CF33-hNIS (Vaxinia).
This has stirred up excitement among investors, sending the Imugene share price higher.
Management noted the primary goal of the study is to evaluate the safety of CF33-hNIS when used in people with advanced solid tumours.
At first, a low dose of CF33-hNIS will be administered to cancer patients with metastatic or advanced solid tumours. This will be for those who have had at least two prior lines of standard of care treatment.
The investigational treatment will be delivered either as an injection directly into tumours or intravenously.
Once patients have been treated with CF33-hNIS and acceptable safety has been demonstrated, new study participants will progress to the next stage.
Those volunteers will receive the experimental oncolytic virus in combination with the immunotherapy pembrolizumab. The latter is an engineered antibody that improves the immune system’s ability to fight cancer-causing cells.
The study aims to recruit 100 patients across approximately 10 sites in the United States and Australia.
The trial is anticipated to run for approximately 24 months and will be funded from Imugene’s existing cash reserves.
Imugene managing director and CEO Leslie Chong commented:
The dosing of the first patient in our Vaxinia study is a significant milestone for Imugene and clinicians faced with the challenge of treatment for metastatic advanced solid tumours.
Professor Yuman Fong and the City of Hope team have provided outstanding research. In addition to the positive preclinical results, we’re incredibly eager to unlock the potential of Vaxinia and the oncolytic virotherapy platform.
Imugene share price snapshot
Despite today’s gains, the Imugene share price has been on a trending decline over the past 12 months. Its shares are down almost 50%, with year to date losses of around 57%.
The company’s shares hit a 52-week low of 15 cents last week, before moving in circles.
Based on the current price, Imugene has a market capitalisation of roughly $965.05 million.