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2017-11-27

New capital for expansion

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With promising clinical results, Immunicum plans to expand the clinical strategy for its cancer therapy ilixadencel. A proposed share issue will provide capital to reach important clinical value inflection points.  

Immunicum develops a unique cancer treatment within immuno-onco­logy. The company’s cell therapy Ilixa­dencel, which is based on donor immune cells, is an elegant solution to activate immune response against tumors more effectively. The focus lies on solid tumors and the injection takes place directly in the tumor site. Even though the trials have been small, overall survival results and safety characteristics are promi­sing. A phase II trial (MERECA) in renal cancer is currently under way, and soon final results will be presented from an early study in liver cancer.

Cell therapy in oncology is, after previous adversities, again on the rise as these methods have many benefits and have demonstrated clinical progress. They are usually expensive to produce, but Immuni­cum has a relatively simple and scalable manufacturing method. A corner-stone in the company’s strategy is to combine ilixadencel with other cancer treatments. Recently, the company announced plans for a combination-trial with checkpoint inhibitors, which is expected to become the largest drug class in many cancers.  

The new strategy aligns clinical development with the changing landscape of cancer drug treatment and could expand the target population for ilixadencel. To his end, and to complete the MERECA trial, the Board has proposed a widely guaranteed (90 per cent) rights issue of SEK 223 million. The capital injection will cover clinical and corporate activities until the end of 2019. Combined with an attractive valuation, above factors strengthens the case for Immuni­cum as an exciting yet risky share, in our view. We calculate a risk adjusted fair value of SEK 22.5 per share. We initiate our coverage of Immunicum and recommend to Subscribe in the Rights Issue. 

Författare Niklas Elmhammer

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