Immunocellular Therapeutics (NYSEMKT:IMUC) has already posted some significant gains since the opening days of 2012 - easily blowing through the two dollar mark before hitting three for a time - and although the stock has held strong through recent bouts of broad market volatility, shares experienced a mild pullback over the past few trading sessions. Any such moves in line with Monday's four percent dip, however, may be viewed as nothing more than a potential opportunity to accumulate as IMUC may posess enough early-year momentum to not only sustain the current higher prices, but also to propel shares higher as numerous still-pending developments play out.
Much of the fuel behind the fire that sparked this year's dramatic price run is due to the success demonstrated by the company's immunotherapeutic cancer-fighting technology that trains one's immune system to attack cancer cells at the stem, thereby eliminating - or at least greatly reducing - the threat that the cancer will grow and spread. This technology has been put to the test with ICT-107 in the treatment of gliblastoma, a very deadly form of brain cancer. Early results have been highly encouraging, and results from an ongoing Phase II trial should start rolling in on an interim basis within the year.
The prospects of those results - including the potential prospects of hearing some additional, longer-term follow-up results from already-treated patients - has piqued investor interest of late. Other solid developments on the stock side have also augmented the anticipation of the clinical results, such as the infusion of institutional interest earlier this year and a pending move to one of the larger trading exchanges that would add additional credibility to the company and attract a broader scope of investors.
There are many investors out there who will not touch an OTC stock, many of them institutional, so a logical next step would be to use the already-solid trial results and early-2012 price run to support a bid to shift to a major exchange - hence the speculation of such a move by numerous entities over the past few months.
On top of that, Immunocellular is also included in a group of companies developing cancer-fighting technologies that may be due for an "ASCO boost," the phenomena that occurs every year around ASCO time when developmental cancer treatments gain more than their fair share of attention to the high-profile event. Many companies use the conference, or even just the timeframe of the conference, to announce current trial data or longer term follow-up data from previous trials that provides a boost in share price as well as a boost in investor confidence.
Immunocellular's technology is unique and holds significant advantages over similar treatments that are positioning the company to become a potential big player in the cancer immunotherapy market for years to come. The pipeline potential was also boosted earlier this year when a licensing deal with the University of Pittsburgh was secured in which Immunocellular acquired world-wide exclusive rights to certain intellectual properties that will be used to expand the IMUC pipeline into the treatment of ovarian and pancreatic cancers. The new pipeline product will be labeled ICT-140 and provides IMUC with a solid one-two punch moving forward, another key undertaking for a company on the verge of taking it to the next level.
Even after the swift price move over the past quarter, IMUC still boasts a market cap of just one hundred million, leaving plenty of room for growth considering the pipeline potential and the nature of the sector as a whole - especially should the Phase II trial results start trickling in looking as solid as earlier results did.
It's common for the day, swing and momentum traders to play the game and then bail out after a stock experiences a run similar to what IMUC posted so far this year, but the fact that this stock has held its own now during the recent volatility could be perceived a show of strength and a sign that the move was just bringing the company to the level of its inherent value.
With 2012 still lined up as a pivotal year for potential catalysts, any dips experienced by the IMUC share price may be considered opportune times to accumulate for those looking to take a position before the pending catalysts unfold - with trial results, interim or final, being key.