Immutep Ltd’s (ASX:IMM) (NASDAQ:IMMP) (FRA:YP1B) involvement of partners GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON:GSK) (NYSE:GSK) and Novartis AG (SWX:NOVN) (NYSE:NVS) in its licensed immunotherapy programs has been highlighted by Edison Investment Research Limited which predicted the collaboration would increase the likelihood the programs would return value to the Australian company.
GSK and Novartis are both progressing LAG-3 programs under licence to phase II or proof-of-concept studies.
Edison increased its valuation of Immutep by $71 million (US$54 million) or 16.17% (US16.22%) to $510 million (US$387 million), placing the value at 14 cents (US$12.80 per American depositary receipt) on an undiluted basis — or 12 cents (US$9.08 per ADR) after dilution from options, warrants and convertible notes was taken into account.
The biotechnology company’s market capitalisation was put at $86 million (US$81 million) in the note prepared with an Australian dollar valued at US76 cents.
Immutep’s undiluted valuation is based on the assumption US$10.5 million ($13.75 million) convertible note holder Ridgeback Capital will convert the note into 688 shares at 2 cents each.
Edison highlighted Immutep’s progress with its in-house and partnered programs in the US market note shared online at the research company’s website, and in an Australian edition of the note found at Immutep’s website.
Edison’s research highlighted the company’s $12.7 million (US$9.7 million) net loss last financial year.
Immutep reported the results to the Australian market in preliminary final report 10 days ago.
The result was $3.3 million (US$2.6 million) or 36% greater than the net loss for the 2016-17 financial year.
Sydney-based biotech Immutep ended June 30 with a $23.5 million (US$17.8 million) cash position.
Immutep chairman Dr Russell Howard wrote in the attached annual report: “It has been an exceptionally busy and successful year for Immutep, particularly in terms of clinical development achievements that place us in a leadership position in the LAG-3 immunotherapy field, as well as with corporate achievements that have solidified the company’s strategy.
“We are proud to be the global leader in developing lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG3) therapeutics, with four LAG-3 based product candidates, one in preclinical development and three in clinical development. LAG-3 continues to be an area of intensifying interest within the pharmaceutical industry.”
Howard wrote the company’s “clinical trial pipeline has been significantly strengthened during the year”.
Immutep acquired the lymphocyte activation gene 3 (LAG-3) pathway product pipeline with the acquisition of a private French company Immutep S.A.S and is progressing a lead product titled Efti.
The product is currently undergoing a Phase 2 study in breast cancer patients and will be examined in Phase 1/2 combination study with checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda starting in the December quarter.
Immutep traded as Prima BioMed Limited (ASX:PRR) (NASDAZ:PBMD) until late last year and was previously chaired by former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s partner Lucy Turnbull who stepped down from her chairwoman role on November 18.
The company’s securities were trading 5.88% up to A3.6 cents on the Australian Securities Exchange by lunchtime today after its ADRs closed yesterday 14c or 5.26% up to $2.80 on the NASDAQ.