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ImmunoGen, Inc. (IMGN)
Lazard Capital Markets 9th Annual Healthcare Conference Transcript
November 14, 2012 3:00 PM ET
Greg Perry - Chief Financial Officer
Ryan Martins - Lazard
Ryan Martins - Lazard
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Thank you, Ryan. It’s a real pleasure to be here and I want to thank you and Lazard for giving me the opportunity to come today and tell you about ImmunoGen. Just as a reminder, I will be making forward-looking statements. And often time, future results do differ from those forward-looking expectations and I’d direct you to Form 10-K where we more fully discuss risk associated with investment in ImmunoGen.
So the first thing really is to try convey just what an exciting time it is to be at ImmunoGen today. When we think about ImmunoGen, ImmunoGen is ultimately a personalized medicine company. When you think about how we go about killing cancer, it’s a very personal way of killing cancer.
Our TAP compound binds specifically to antigens that are expressed on the cancer cell, and then delivers the cytotoxic agent specifically to the cancer cell to effect the killing. When I think about ImmunoGen, it’s really two stories, a big story that hearing now today and a big story that’s coming very quickly. And that big story that’s hearing now today is really the ultimate proof-of-concept and that is TDM-1.
TDM-1 is a compound that’s underdevelopment by Roche that incorporates our technology, our TAP technology. And by all indications, they’re developing it to effectively replace Herceptin, which is a $6 billion drug and in some cases, even more so.
The second thing that’s really the game changer for ImmunoGen shareholders is the advancement of our proprietary pipeline and that’s really the second story and that’s a story that’s been emerging underneath the umbrella of all of the excitement and progress around TDM-1.
In addition, the ImmunoGen shareholder gets a benefit from the advancement of compounds that are in the hands of our partners who are also employing ImmunoGen’s TAP technology. And significantly for biotech company of course, we’re in very solid financial footing. We have some $234 million of cash at our September quarter close, which puts us in a very good capital position.
So let’s look little bit more closely at TDM-1. We often can ask the question, just what exactly did you bring that ImmunoGen bring to TDM-1. And frankly the short answer is a great deal. But it began with number one, the idea. And the idea for conjugating trastuzumab or the Herceptin antibody came from our scientist in the late 1990s when the Genentech scientist were basically just coming to grips with trastuzumab itself.
Secondly, we brought to this molecule, our cytotoxic agent, DM1 and people often underestimate the importance of the cytotoxic agent and an antibody drug conjugate. You need to have a highly toxic agents, some 100 to 1,000 fold more toxic than standard chemotherapy, yet not too toxic so that you can secure an appropriate therapeutic window.
Third, we brought to the party, linker technology. We have a portfolio of engineered linkers, each designed to achieve a certain effect depending upon the cancer that we’re targeting. And fourth we brought together expertise and insight around the manufacture, the cytotoxic agent and the formulation and processes needed to commercialize -- to manufacture on a commercial scale the antibody drug conjugate, TDM-1.
On the right hand side of this chart, I’d like to just kind of revisit exactly what an ADC is dealing. So the antibody is specifically targeting antigen that’s expressed on the cancer cell through normal mechanisms. It’s internalized into the cell and then generally trafficking through the lights that somewhere it’s being metabolized and certain metabolites are going to release including the cytotoxic agent to then interfere with the microtubules in affecting the ability of the cell to replicate inducing cell death.
So very elegant the complicated mechanism of actions. And as powerful and important is TDM-1 has been to cancer patients, TDM-1’s been very important to ImmunoGen and to our TAP technology. First off, HER2+ Breast Cancers are solid tumor. The first two antibody drug conjugates that were approved were targeting blood tumors.
And so TDM-1 really is proof-of-concept that you can use in ADC to reach a solid tumor and have a very meaningful effect on the course of the disease. Secondly, looking at the data, the promise of our technology has always been, we can achieve greater efficacy with a reduced side effect. It’s really the wholly grill of oncology. In what we saw on the recent data is exactly that, very strong efficacy data and a very much-reduced side effect profile.
And lastly, the visibility, so the EMILIA presentation at ASCO this summer was a preliminary session, oral presentation at ESMO and then recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine has really resulted in a tremendous amount of buzz around TDM-1 and an umbrella effect for ADCs in general in ImmunoGen’s TAP technology specifically.
So let’s look at what’s driving lot of the excitement around TDM-1 and most certainly looking at the EMILIA data with Phase 3 and large randomized trial of almost 1,000 patients. This was repose to Herceptin patients and was TDM-1 versus standard of care which was Tykerb plus Xeloda.