Prima (PBMD) Reports Favorable Initial Melanoma Study Data

Prima Biomed Ltd.PBMD announced interim data from a phase I study of the TACTI-mel ( T wo ACT ive I mmunotherapeutics in mel anoma) program on its most advanced pipeline candidate IMP321 (based on the LAG-3 immune control mechanism), for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma.

The company's shares surged 7.4% after the news. Prima's year-to-date share price movement shows that the company has underperformed the Zacks classified Medical-Biomedical/Genetics industry. Specifically, the stock plunged almost 34.2% during this period, steeper than the industry's declined of 26.1%.

The study evaluated IMP321, in combination with Merck & Co., Inc.'s MRK PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda, in patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who had suboptimal or no responses to Keytruda.

The Database Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) confirmed that IMP321, in combination with Keytruda, was safe and well tolerated when dosed at 1 mg. Further, the DSMB approved the continuation of the dose escalation to the next level of 6 mg.

The company expects to read out additional data in terms of safety and activity throughout 2017.

IMP321 is also being evaluated, in combination with Celgene Corporation's CELG Abraxane, in a phase IIb chemo-immunotherapy study AIPAC ( A ctive I mmunotherapy PAC litaxel) for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

The company noted that many large pharmaceutical partners are developing LAG-3 products including antibodies for immune response modulation in autoimmunity and cancer.

PRIMA BIOMED Price and Consensus

PRIMA BIOMED Price and Consensus | PRIMA BIOMED Quote

Prima currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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Vanda's loss estimates for 2016 narrowed from 62 cents to 45 cents in the last 60 days. The company posted a positive earnings surprise in three of the four trailing quarters with an average beat of 56.65%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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