ImmunoGen's Press Release Is More Than Mere News

| About: ImmunoGen, Inc. (IMGN)

Give me the money or the hope of having it, you will see what I can do with my Targeted Antibody Payload (TAP) technology and my proprietary antibodies. That's the message we feel ImmunoGen (NASDAQ:IMGN) has meant to send about its upcoming clinical data presentations at the 54th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) to be held December 8-11, 2012 in Atlanta, GA.

The message, which has already been delivered by ImmunoGen's Daniel Junius, President and CEO, in today's a press release, is aimed at informing the oncology community about the TAP compounds they must expect to get now as well as drawing Wall Street analysts' attention to the fact that T-DM1 for HER2 breast cancer, which is expected to win approval soon, is not all the firm has in its pipeline. In his message Dr. Junius stated the following:

  • ImmunoGen has ten TAP compounds now in clinical testing
  • More compounds are also being developed behind these ten compounds
  • Expect an increasing amount of clinical data to be reported on TAP compounds for the foreseeable future

We learned that at this year's annual ASH meeting that ImmunoGen's clinical findings will be reported for the firm's IMGN901 and Biotest's BT-062 compound. We also learned that over the course of 2013, we should expect to see data presentations with TAP compounds for the treatment of a number of types of solid tumors and hematological malignancies.

Here are some details.

IMGN901 Oral Presentation comprises:

Phase I Study of Lorvotuzumab Mertansine (LM, IMGN901) In Combination with Lenalidomide (Len) and Dexamethasone (Dex) In Patients with CD56-Positive Relapsed or Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma (NYSE:MM)" (Abstract #728).

BT062, An Antibody-Drug Conjugate Directed Against CD138, Given Weekly for 3 weeks in each 4 week cycle: Safety and Further Evidence of Clinical Activity" (Abstract #4042).

Important to note is that the firm's press release stressed the fact that IMGN901 is ImmunoGen's wholly owned drug. The CD56-targeting antibody lorvotuzumab is home made with the firm's DM1 cancer-cell killing agent attached using one of its engineered linkers. Also important to realize that IMGN901 is in Phase 3 testing as a first-line treatment for extensive small-cell-lung cancer (SCLC). Encouraging findings have been seen in the initial evaluations of the compound for the treatment of multiple myeloma and Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

IMGN901 has been granted orphan drug designation for SCLC, multiple myeloma and MCC in the US and Europe.

Prohost Comments: We know we are redundant, but redundancy in this case is important, especially as Wall Street analysts in the question and answer session following ImmunoGen's announcement of its financial results tried to make the firm look as if it is a one drug company receiving a low one digit royalty from Roche (OTC:RCHBF) for its breast cancer drug T-DM1.

The most important achievement of this firm is its TAP technology and T-DM1 has, indeed, validated the fact that antibody cancer drugs outperform their own efficacy when transformed into TAP drugs. Without Roche taking care of the bills during the long years of T-DM1 clinical trials, ImmunoGen alone couldn't have been able to get this drug to where it has reached now, You know what, It is true that T-DM1 is made possible through ImmunoGen's technology, but it is also a fact that the antibody used not only belongs to Roche, but has been a top best seller for this firm, generating billions of dollars, which makes us believe that the royalty for ImmunoGen was not minute as implied by some analysts.

For a first drug expected to sell much more than the antibody Herceptin used alone, the deal, in our view, is fair for both firms. Roche rescued the Herceptin patent by reincarnating the antibody in ImmunoGen TAP structure, and ImmunoGen got proof of concept, of feasibility and of monstrous success of its TAP technology.

ImmunoGen's partnered and wholly owned pipelines will become more visible to investors. Indeed, in 2013, ImmunoGen will have more catalysts for offer investors - more data will be surfacing, bringing much more appreciation for ImmunoGen's technology.

Disclosure: We are long IMGN.