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 currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Key Pick in the Sector
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. VNDA is a better-ranked stock in the health care sector sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here .
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%.
Zacks' Best Private Investment Ideas
In addition to the recommendations that are available to the public on our website, how would you like to follow all Zacks' private buys and sells in real time?
Our experts cover all kinds of trades… from value to momentum . . . from stocks under $10 to ETF and option moves . . . from stocks that corporate insiders are buying up to companies that are about to report positive earnings surprises. You can even look inside exclusive portfolios that are normally closed to new investors. Starting today, for the next month, you can have unrestricted access. Click here for Zacks' private trades >>
Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.