- Received competent authority and institutional review board approvals for TACTI-003 Phase IIb trial
- Enrolled first patient in INSIGHT-003 study in patients with various solid tumours
- Preparations progressing for new Phase III trial (AIPAC-003) in metastatic breast cancer
- Final Overall Survival data from Phase IIb AIPAC trial accepted as a late breaker poster for SITC 2021
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, Oct. 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Immutep Limited (ASX: IMM; NASDAQ: IMMP) (“Immutep” or “the Company”), a biotechnology company developing novel LAG-3 related immunotherapy treatments for cancer and autoimmune disease, provides an update on the ongoing development of its product candidates, eftilagimod alpha (“efti”) and IMP761 for the quarter ended 30 September 2021.
Efti Development Program for Cancer
AIPAC – Phase IIb clinical trial – ongoing
Immutep will report final Overall Survival (OS) data from its Phase IIb AIPAC clinical trial evaluating efti in metastatic breast cancer as a late breaker poster at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting 2021 taking place in the US and virtually from 10-14 November.
Immutep previously reported initial OS data from approximately 60% of events in December 2020 at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The study reported a promising and improving trend in OS in the total population with a median survival benefit of +2.7 months from efti plus chemotherapy, compared to chemotherapy plus placebo. In addition, a statistically significant OS benefit was observed in the efti group in key pre-defined patient groups, including patients under 65 years of age and those with low starting monocyte count.
AIPAC-003 – Phase III – new
Immutep is continuing the preparation and planning steps for its Phase III clinical trial evaluating efti in patients with metastatic breast cancer.
TACTI-003 – Phase IIb clinical trial – new
In July 2021, Immutep completed all the necessary competent authority steps with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has received institutional review board approval to commence its Phase IIb TACTI-003 trial in the US. Recruitment has also opened in the Ukraine and more sites and countries will be added in the coming months. This follows the receipt of Fast Track designation in 1st line recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) from the US FDA in April 2021.
In addition, Immutep will be presenting the trial design for TACTI-003 via a poster at the SITC 2021 conference in November.
TACTI-002 (also designated KEYNOTE-PN798) – Phase II clinical trial – ongoing
In September 2021, Immutep enrolled the last patient into Stage 2 of Part B of the Phase II TACTI-002 study, completing recruitment of 2nd line PD-1/PD-L1 refractory non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients into the trial. Recruitment is continuing for the additional 74 1st line NSCLC patients for the expansion of Part A, with 70 patients already enrolled. Recruitment for the expansion of Part A of the study continues to be ahead of the expected recruitment rate.
Immutep reported favourable interim Overall Response Rates (ORR) together with encouraging duration and depth of response in 1st line NSCLC (Part A) and 2nd line HNSCC (Part C) at ASCO in June 2021. The Company will report data from Part C of TACTI-002 at the SITC 2021 conference in November. Additional data from this study trial are planned to be reported in the first half of calendar year 2022.
INSIGHT is an investigator-initiated Phase I trial at the Institute of Clinical Cancer Research, Krankenhaus Nordwest (IKF) investigating different combination treatments with efti and a different route of administration for efti. INSIGHT consists of 5 different arms from stratums A to E.
INSIGHT-003 – triple combination
In August 2021, the first patient was enrolled and safely dosed in INSIGHT-003, also referred to as stratum C of INSIGHT. Patient recruitment is ongoing with 4 out of a total of 20 patients with various solid tumours now participating in the trial. First interim results are expected to be reported in 2022.
INSIGHT-004 – combination with avelumab
Results from INSIGHT-004 were presented at the ESMO Congress 2021 held 16-21 September. The results are in line with the previous poster presentation at ASCO 2021.
INSIGHT-005 – combination with bintrafusp alpha
INSIGHT-005, known as stratum E of INSIGHT, will involve 12 patients with solid tumours and will evaluate efti in combination with bintrafusp alfa. It will be conducted under Immutep’s collaboration agreement with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.
Separately to Immutep’s ongoing collaboration agreement with Merck KGaA, Merck KGaA and GlaxoSmithKline announced a mutual decision to terminate their agreement to co-develop bintrafusp alfa. Accordingly, Immutep and Merck KGaA are working closely to determine the next steps for the INSIGHT-005 study.
EAT COVID – Phase II clinical trial – ongoing
The investigator-initiated EAT COVID study is continuing at the University Hospital Pilsen in the Czech Republic. Patient recruitment into the trial by the hospital has been slower than anticipated due to a significant decline in the number of infections and improving vaccination rates in the Czech Republic. The Company will provide an update on the trial in due course.
IMP761 Development Program for Autoimmune Disease
During the quarter, Immutep continued GMP manufacturing preparations for IMP761 and is planning for toxicology studies and other pre-clinical evaluations of this promising candidate.
Immutep’s Chinese partner for efti, EOC Pharma, announced it plans to expand its clinical trial pipeline for efti (designated EOC202 in China) in China. EOC is preparing to initiate a clinical study of efti in combination with an anti-PD-1 therapy in the first half of calendar year 2022. This new trial builds on EOC’s previously announced Phase II trial evaluating efti in combination with chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer patients.
Immutep’s partner, Novartis presented two posters at the ESMO Congress 2021. One poster included data from its PLATForM Phase II study of novel spartalizumab combinations in melanoma, concluding patients with LAG-3+ melanoma may be more likely to respond to spartalizumab + ieramilimab (LAG525) treatment.
Novartis also presented data from its Phase II, open-label, 3-arm study, in patients with advanced triple-negative breast cancer regardless of PD-L1 status progressing after adjuvant or one prior line of systemic therapy for metastatic disease, but who had not received an immune checkpoint inhibitor. Patients were randomised 1:1:1 to LAG525 + spartalizumab, LAG525 + spartalizumab + carboplatin, or LAG525 + carboplatin. As no arms of the study met the proof of preliminary efficacy criteria, no further investigation is planned for this study.
LAG525 is a humanised anti-LAG-3 antibody derived from Immutep’s IMP701 antibody, which is out-licensed to Novartis.
Immutep was granted three new patents relating to the protection of LAG525 (IMP701), which is fully out-licensed to Novartis, by the Chinese Patent Office, the Indian Patent Office and the Malaysian patent office during the quarter. The patents are co-owned by Novartis AG and Immutep SAS and follow the grant of the corresponding Australian, United States, European, and Japanese patents announced in 2018 through 2020.
Financial Summary – Q1 FY221
Cash receipts from customers for the quarter was $56k, compared to $10k in Q4 of FY21 (i.e. the quarter ended 30 June 2021).
The net cash used in G&A activities in the quarter was $1.01 million compared to $409k in Q4 FY21. The increase compared with last quarter is mainly due to capital raising related costs that were expensed in July 2021. Payments to Related Parties, detailed in Item 6 of the Appendix 4C cash flow report for the quarter includes $135k in payment of Non-Executive Director’s fees and Executive Director’s salary.
The net cash used in Research and Development activities in the quarter was $6.83 million, compared to $5.45 million in Q4 FY21. The significant increase is mainly due to increased clinical trial and manufacturing activities. Total net cash outflows used in operating activities in the quarter was $5.37 million. In comparison, total net cash outflows from operating activities in Q4 FY21 was $5.71 million.
Immutep received a €2,126,617 (~$3.42 million) research and development (R&D) tax incentive payment in cash from the French Government under its Crédit d’Impôt Recherche scheme (CIR) during the quarter in respect of expenditure incurred during calendar year 2020 on eligible R&D activities conducted in the European Union.
As part of the Company’s two-tranche financing announced in June 2021, shareholders approved the second tranche of an institutional placement of shares at the Company’s Extraordinary General Meeting in July 2021. The second tranche of the institutional placement raised $46.3 million. In total, Immutep raised $60 million via the institutional placement, which was supported by multiple institutional investors in Australia and offshore.
A further $7.2 million was raised from a Share Purchase Plan (SPP) completed in July 2021, which enabled existing eligible shareholders to participate in the financing on the same terms as the institutional placement. Due to strong demand from eligible shareholders, the amount raised exceeded the targeted amount sought to be raised ($5 million) under the SPP.
The Company’s cash and cash equivalent balance as at 30 September 2021 was $106.39 million compared to a balance of $60.59 million as at 30 June 2021. The enhanced cash balance puts the company in a strong financial position with an estimated cash reach of December 2023.
A copy of the Appendix 4C – Quarterly Cash Flow Report for the quarter is attached.
Immutep is a globally active biotechnology company that is a leader in the development of LAG-3 related immunotherapeutic products for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. Immutep is dedicated to leveraging its technology and expertise to bring innovative treatment options to market for patients and to maximise value to shareholders.
Immutep’s current lead product candidate is eftilagimod alpha (efti or IMP321), a soluble LAG-3 fusion protein (LAG-3Ig), which is a first-in-class antigen presenting cell (APC) activator being explored in cancer and infectious disease. Immutep is also developing an agonist of LAG-3 (IMP761) for autoimmune disease. Additional LAG-3 products, including antibodies for immune response modulation, are being developed by Immutep’s large pharmaceutical partners.
Immutep is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (IMM), and on the NASDAQ (IMMP) in the United States.
Further information can be found on the Company’s website www.immutep.com or by contacting:
Catherine Strong, Citadel-MAGNUS
+61 (0)406 759 268; email@example.com
Tim McCarthy, LifeSci Advisors
+1 (212) 915.2564; firstname.lastname@example.org
1 All cash amounts shown are in Australian currency, unless noted differently.
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