Thinly traded nano cap Asterias Biotherapeutics (NYSEMKT:AST) is up 26% premarket on average volume in response to its announcement that its clinical trial assessing immunotherapy candidate AST-VAC2 in patients with non-small cell lung cancer will continue as planned after the Safety Review Committee signed off on data from the first participant.
The primary endpoints of the 24-subject study are safety and tolerability. Secondary endpoints include efficacy measures.
AST-VAC2 contains dendritic cells derived from pluripotent stem cells that are engineered to express a modified form of an enzyme called telomerase that is widely expressed in tumor cells but not normal cells. The modified telomerase induces a more robust immune response to fight the cancer.
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