In an April 3, 2018 research note, analyst Douglas Loe reported that Echelon Wealth Partners again designated Immunovaccine Inc. (IMV:TSX; IMMVF:OTCQX) Top Pick in Q2/18, marking the third consecutive quarter it has done so.
Since this immune therapeutics developer first earned Top Pick status by Echelon, in Q4/17, its stock cumulatively increased 68%, "mostly driven by comparative paucity of clinical milestones in the more recent period and not on any softness in market regard for the firm's lipid-based, water-free, antigen delivery platform DepoVax," Loe purported. The share price rose 164% since Echelon began covering the company in September 2016.
A major advantage for Immunovaccine is its deep and advanced pipeline, including numerous DPX vaccine formulations in development for oncology and/or infectious disease indications. Its two lead candidates are DPX-Survivac, whose target is any cancer that overexpresses survivin, and DPX-RSV, whose target is respiratory syncytial virus, which affects the lungs and airways. Immunovaccine also has secondary partnered programs, including one with Zoetis to develop a cattle vaccine and one with Leidos to develop a malaria vaccine.
Also, Immunovaccine has "abundant milestones on the horizon," Loe noted. In June of this year, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, updates on patient outcomes are expected from the Phase 2 recurrent ovarian cancer trial combining DPX-Survivac and Incyte's epacadostat. The analyst reiterated that previously reported interim data were "encouraging."
As for the two companies' collaboration, Loe wrote, "We are optimistic that Incyte and Immunovaccine could augment their alliance with more economically relevant terms or with expansion into new oncology markets."
Tumor and immunologic response data are coming from Immunovaccine and Merck's Phase 2 trial in recurrent ovarian cancer. Interim data are expected in the next quarter or so with final data in H1/19.
Separate tumor and immunologic response data are anticipated on a similar timeline from the recurrent diffuse large B-cell lymphoma trial, also an Immunovaccine-Merck collaboration.
Regarding those two studies, Loe indicated, "We are optimistic that Immunovaccine's survivin-targeted, DepoVax-formulated vaccine platform can work synergistically with the T-cell immunity-suppressing activity that PD1-mAb blockade confers."
Further potential upside could come from Immunovaccine's other clinical programs. One is DPX-NEO, a neo-antigen personalized anticancer vaccine, currently in development in partnership with the University of Connecticut.
Another is DPX-E7, a DepoVax formulation that targets the E7 protein. A Phase 2, human papilloma virus-related cancer study testing DPX-E7 is underway. Interim data are expected by year-end and final data by H1/19. This study is a collaboration between Immunovaccine and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
In terms of the valuation of Immunovaccine, Loe said, "We expect new data from ongoing programs and initiation of new programs (specifically on DPX-NEO) to drive value this year, but specifically on DPX-Survivac in Q2/18, which is the relevant period for our Q2/18 Top Pick designation." He noted that compared to its peers, Immunovaccine is undervalued but Echelon expects the "vast" gap to narrow as the company releases additional clinical data this year.
Echelon maintains its rating of Speculative Buy and price target of CA$3.25 per share. The stock is currently trading at around CA$1.74 per share.
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1) Doresa Banning compiled this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise reports as an independent contractor. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.
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Disclosures from Echelon Wealth Partners, Immunovaccine Inc., April 3, 2018
Echelon Wealth Partners compensates its Research Analysts from a variety of sources. The Research Department is a cost centre and is funded by the business activities of Echelon Wealth Partners including, Institutional Equity Sales and Trading, Retail Sales and Corporate and Investment Banking.
ANALYST CERTIFICATION: I, Douglas Loe, hereby certify that the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about the subject securities or issuers. I also certify that I have not, am not, and will not receive, directly or indirectly, compensation in exchange for expressing the specific recommendations or views in this report.
Is this an issuer related or industry related publication? Industry.
Does the Analyst or any member of the Analystís household have a financial interest in the securities of the subject issuer? No
Does the Analyst or household member serve as a Director or Officer or Advisory Board Member of the issuer? No
Does Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. or the Analyst have any actual material conflicts of interest with the issuer? No
Does Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. and/or one or more entities affiliated with Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. beneficially own common shares (or any other class of common equity securities) of this issuer which constitutes more than 1% of the presently issued and outstanding shares of the issuer? No
During the last 12 months, has Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. provided financial advice to and/or, either on its own or as a syndicate member, participated in a public offering, or private placement of securities of this issuer? Yes
During the last 12 months, has Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. received compensation for having provided investment banking or related services to this Issuer? Yes
Has the Analyst had an onsite visit with the Issuer within the last 12 months? No
Has the Analyst or any Partner, Director or Officer been compensated for travel expenses incurred as a result of an onsite visit with the Issuer within the last 12 months? No
Has the Analyst received any compensation from the subject company in the past 12 months? No
Is Echelon Wealth Partners Inc. a market maker in the issuerís securities at the date of this report? No