Immutep completes capital raise and expands collaboration with MSD

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Immutep (ASX:IMM) has announced the completion of a $29.6 million share placement to professional, institutional and sophisticated investors, and an expanded collaboration with MSD.

CEO Marc Voigt said,“The support received from existing and new high-quality investors demonstrates strong interest and confidence in Immutep’s clinical program. This financing provides funding certainty and significant growth opportunities for Immutep and I would like to thank existing shareholders for their continued support and welcome our new investors to the register.”

He said, “We continue to be encouraged by the data from the TACTI-002 phase II trial. The ~36% response rate in both 1st line NSCLC patients and 2nd line HNSCC patients highlights the potential therapeutic benefit of adding efti to MSD’s KEYTRUDA.

"As announced recently at SITC 2020, this compares very favourably to an overall response rate of ~20% and ~15%, respectively, for patients receiving KEYTRUDA alone in historical trials. We now plan to expand the trial in NSCLC and start a new study in HNSCC. With a number of further data releases set to occur in the remainder of 2020 and throughout 2021, we are confident in the benefits that efti can bring to patients.”

The company said it will use the proceeds to finance its LAG-3 related clinical program in immuno-oncology and autoimmune disease.

This includes the ongoing clinical development of eftilagimod alpha ('efti'), including the expansion of the phase two TACTI-002 study through an additional 74 patients with first-line NSCLC and a new phase two clinical trial in first-line HNSCC.

This trial expands Immutep's existing collaboration with MSD. Additional clinical sites will be added to the existing 12 study centres across Australia, Europe, and the US and the first patient is expected to be enrolled in the expanded trial by the end of 2020. 

“We are excited to expand our collaboration trial with MSD, one of the world’s leading immuno-oncology companies. The interim results reported from 1st line NSCLC patients have been consistently encouraging and signal good efficacy, particularly for low PD-L1 expressing patients who do not typically respond to immune checkpoint therapy. Not only does this give us great confidence expanding the TACTI-002 trial, but it also validates our strategy to form and grow multiple collaborations with innovative large pharma companies, such as MSD, that are seeking to augment the efficacy of their existing approved products, like KEYTRUDA,” said Mr Voigt.

The funds raised through the placement will also be used for the cell-line development of IMP761, R&D, manufacturing, the offering costs and working capital purposes.