Shares of Replimune Group (NASDAQ: REPL) were soaring 13.3% higher as of 11:01 a.m. EDT on Thursday after rising as much as 22.4% earlier in the day. The big jump resulted from the company's announcement that it will present encouraging data from two early-stage clinical studies evaluating experimental immunotherapies RP1 and RP2 at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) annual meeting in November.
Positive clinical news is exactly what a clinical-stage biotech stock like Replimune needs to get investors excited. The company's scheduled virtual poster presentations at SITC are indeed good news.
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Replimune's press release about the upcoming SITC meeting included some details from the abstracts to be presented. The company said that half of the patients receiving RP2 as a monotherapy in a phase 1 study targeting solid tumors "have ongoing partial responses." That means these study participants are experiencing significant tumor reduction.
In addition, Replimune plans to present data from a phase 1/2 study of a combination of RP1 and Bristol Myers Squibb's Opdivo in treating several types of cancer. The biotech's press release stated that this combo continues "to be well tolerated, with continuing promising anti-tumor activity in patients with skin cancers."
While encouraging data for RP1 and RP2 are good news for Replimune, it's still very early. Both studies are still ongoing.
Investors will want to keep their eyes on further updates from Replimune on these clinical trials. The company is also enrolling patients in a phase 2 study of RP1 in combination with cancer immunotherapy Libtayo in treating cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common type of skin cancer. In addition, Replimune plans to begin a phase 1 study evaluating another candidate, RP3, as a monotherapy and in combination with an anti-PD-1 therapy this year.
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