Shares of small-cap biopharma Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: BLCM) rose as much as 20.1% today after the company announced first-quarter 2018 results. As a pre-revenue development-stage company, there isn't much to do with the income statement aside from keep a watchful eye on operating expenses, which affect cash burn. On that front, management believes it has enough cash to fund operations through the end of 2019 following a sizable stock offering in April.
There was a long list of information regarding the company's various ongoing clinical trials for shareholders to digest. Not everything was an update as much as a reminder to investors about the depth of the pipeline. Importantly, everything remains on track for its top drug candidate to deliver top-line data by the end of 2018 and go up for regulatory review in Europe sometime in 2019.
As of 1 p.m. EDT, the stock had settled to a 19.2% gain.
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals is focused on designing controllable immunotherapies for treating cancers and rare blood disorders. The lead drug candidate, BPX-501, is being investigated in Europe as a potential treatment for graft-versus-host disease in patients undergoing blood stem cell transfers. It's set to read out top-line data by the end of this year and be reviewed by regulators on the continent next year.
BPX-501 also recently had a clinical hold lifted in the United States, which means it can restart clinical trials. That was already reported to investors in an earlier update, however.
The small-cap biopharma also reminded investors that its early-stage pipeline is humming along. That includes chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) and T cell receptor (TCR) therapies BPX-601 and BPX-701, respectively. Trials for both cancer-treating drugs are enrolling patients in separate phase 1 studies. Meanwhile, Bellicum Pharmaceuticals recently presented at a conference on preclinical data on tunable switch immunotherapies, although those are in a much earlier stage.
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals stock has slid 36% in the last year -- and that includes today's double-digit pop. There wasn't much of an update provided today, but rather a reminder that the company has a few potentially high-value shots on goal in its early-stage pipeline. With the company having enough cash for the next 18 months or so, investors are hoping that it can progress into midstage trials and perhaps even gain its first-ever regulatory approval. That's still uncertain, but Mr. Market is just happy to see that the biopharma has a pulse.
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