Advaxis Inc (NASDAQ:ADXS) shares rose 6.74% on Monday to $9.03 and an additional 1.88% to $9.20 in after-hours trading. Share prices have been trading in a 52-week range of $5.45 to $16.30. The company has a market cap of $357.65 million at 40.12 million shares outstanding.
Advaxis Inc is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that is focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm)-Listeriolysin O (LLO) cancer immunotherapies. These immunotherapies are based on a platform technology that utilizes live attenuated Lm bioengineered to secrete antigen/adjuvant fusion proteins.
These Lm-LLO strains integrate multiple functions into a single immunotherapy as they access and direct antigen presenting cells to stimulate anti-tumor T-cell immunity, stimulate and activate the immune system with the equivalent of multiple adjuvants, and simultaneously reduce tumor protection in the tumor microenvironment to enable the T-cells to eliminate tumors. Axalimogene filolisbac is its lead Lm-LLO immunotherapy product candidate for the treatment of Human Papilloma Virus-associated cancers. ADXS-PSA is its Lm-LLO immunotherapy product candidate that targets the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) associated with prostate cancer.
In a press release, Advaxis Inc shared that it granted SELLAS a license to develop a novel cancer immunotherapy agent using Advaxis’ proprietary Lm-based antigen delivery technology with SELLAS’ patented WT1 targeted heteroclitic peptide antigen mixture. This combination has the potential to precisely direct an immune response, yielding improved clinical activity against many cancer types that express WT1. SELLAS’ future clinical studies will investigate this capability in the presence of measurable residual or recurrent disease.
WT1 is one of the most widely expressed cancer antigens and was named a top target for cancer immunotherapy by the National Cancer Institute,” said Daniel J. O’Connor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advaxis Inc. “SELLAS’ proprietary galinpepimut-S therapy has already demonstrated clinical benefit and a strong immune response against WT1 expressing cancer cells. We believe that the use of our proprietary Lm-based antigen delivery technology with SELLAS’ proprietary technology could result in a very compelling WT1-targeted cancer immunotherapy.”
Under this agreement, Advaxis Inc will conduct all pre-clinical activities required for an IND filing then SELLAS will be responsible for all clinical development and commercial activities. Advaxis Inc will receive future payments of up to $358 million from SELLAS if certain development, regulatory, and commercial milestones are met.
The combined Advaxis-SELLAS Lm-WT1 active immunotherapy candidate has the potential to deliver SELLAS’ WT1 proprietary peptide antigens in a novel way, taking advantage of our antigen’s ability to target a wide variety of tumors of diverse immune system HLA genotypes. The delivery afforded by the Advaxis technology expands upon our current programs and should substantially enhance the clinical utility seen with galinpepimut-S, and eventually, the cancer immunotherapy armamentarium for a variety of tumors,” added Angelos Stergiou, MD, ScD h.c., Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of SELLAS.
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