- Cancer treatment company Immutep (IMM) is keeping its clinical trials alive despite COVID-19 concerns
- The company has a range of trials underway for its two key drugs designed to treat breast cancer and other autoimmune diseases
- While Immutep said the coronavirus might slow down recruitment, the virus’ impact on clinical trials has otherwise been limited
- Immutep had roughly $16.1 million cash on hand at the end of the March quarter after spending just over $6 million
- At this level of spending, the company current cash balance can last just under three quarters
- Shares in Immutep are up over three per cent today, currently worth 16 cents each
Cancer treatment company Immutep (IMM) has revealed some clinical trial progress alongside some steady cash burn in its latest quarterly report.
The company has a range of trials underway for its key “efti” treatment, formally known as Eftilagimod Alpha or IMP321. The drug is designed to treat metastatic breast cancer.
Immutep is also in preclinical treatment phase for its IMP761 product, which is designed to treat other autoimmune diseases.
Today’s report had no fresh results from any of the ongoing trials, but Immutep outlined how clinical trials work in the era of COVID-19 woes.
At the forefront of concerns for doctors, patients, and investors is whether or not clinical trials are still going ahead as health systems become overloaded with coronavirus patients.
For cancer patients or those suffering from autoimmune diseases, the virus is particularly threatening given their weakened immune systems.
In light of this, Immutep says the safety and wellbeing of clinical trial patients is first priority, but the impact of the virus on clinical trial patients has so far been “limited”.
The company said it has been able to verify data remotely and review the progress of its clinical trials while adhering to government guidelines and restrictions.
However, while Immutep said recruitment for its trials is still going ahead, it said it anticipates a slow-down in recruitment for its TACTI-002 and INSIGHT-004 trials as hospitals in key markets temporarily close down.
Nevertheless, the INSIGHT trial has already recruited 91 per cent of total patients, while the TACTI trial is 70 per cent full.
Of course, the other key concern for investors is likely how Immutep’s balance sheet is looking, especially if trials may be slowed down by COVID-19.
As it stands, Immutep had $16.1 million cash on hand at the end of March 2020, compared to the $20.5 million at the end of December 2019.
The company took in $217,000 in customer receipts over the quarter but spent roughly $6.1 million.
At this level of spending, Immutep can last just under three more quarters before it needs to raise more cash.
Nevertheless, shares in the company are trading 3.13 per cent higher this afternoon, currently worth 16 cents each at 3:37 pm AEDT.