Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM) shares dipped 2.60% to $0.637 on Monday then rebounded 0.47% to $0.640 in after-hours trading. The company has a market cap of $184.75 million at 297.71 million shares outstanding.
This week, Peregrine Pharmaceuticalsannounced the presentation of positive new data from the company’s ongoing collaboration with researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. These highlighted the potential of the company’s phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting antibodies to enhance the anti-tumor activity of adoptive T cell transfer therapy without triggering any off-target toxicities.
“While adoptive T cell transfer remains one of the most exciting new approaches to treating cancer, to date the toxicity associated with the treatment has limited its potential. We are encouraged that these study results showed that the combination of anti-PS and adoptive T cell treatment led to enhanced anti-tumor effect without any evidence of additional off-target side effects,” said Taha Merghoub, Ph.D., co-director of the Ludwig Collaborative Laboratory at MSK. “We believe that these findings may support potential applications for this combination in solid tumors in the future.”
While PS-targeting and anti-OX40 demonstrated comparable tumor regression when administered in combination with transferred adoptive T cells, only the PS-targeting combination achieved these results without any off-target toxicities. Other results indicated hat the PS-targeting antibodies decreased tumor-induced immunosuppression as evidenced by a decrease in immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) and M2 macrophages, supporting the company’s belief that bavituximab may modulate the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and enhance the activity of immunotherapy agents.
“Importantly, we are now also seeing evidence that this targeted modulation of the tumor microenvironment by anti-PS allows for enhanced activity of these other treatments without triggering any off-target toxicities. This is opposed to other conventional immunotherapies such as anti-OX40 with systemic mechanisms of action. We believe this advantageous tolerability profile will be a key benefit in positioning anti-PS agents for inclusion in optimal combination cancer regimens,” said Joseph Shan, vice president of clinical and regulatory affairs at Peregrine Pharmaceuticals.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company operating through two segments: Peregrine, which is engaged in the research and development of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer, and Avid, which is engaged in providing contract manufacturing services for third party customers on a fee-for-service basis while also supporting its internal drug development efforts.
Bavituximab is its lead immunotherapy candidate. It is a monoclonal antibody that targets and binds to phosphatidylserine (PS), a immunosuppressive molecule that is usually located inside the membrane of healthy cells, but then flips and becomes exposed on the outside of cells in the tumor microenvironment, causing the tumor to evade immune detection. The company’s subsidiary is Avid Bioservices, Inc. (Avid). Avid provides integrated current good manufacturing practices (cGMP) services from cell line development to commercial biomanufacturing.