IMV (TSX:IMV)(NASDAQ:IMV) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on improving the treatment of cancer. The company gives patients with hard-to-treat cancers a chance to enjoy a long and healthy life. IMV uses a drug delivery platform (DPX) technology, to achieve targeted specific, and sustainable immune activation.
The company is developing a portfolio of DPX-based immunotherapies that address unmet medical needs. IMV’s lead product candidate, DPX-Survivac, is a pipeline in a product that generates sustained and targeted immune responses against Survivin, a tumor-associated protein. With the financial support of the Canadian government, IMV also initiated the development of DPX-COVID-19, a vaccine candidate using the DPX platform.
Animal health research
IMV commenced operations in March 2000 based on animal health research pioneered at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when it was contracted by a government entity to develop a contraceptive to control the seal population. The company was able to develop a contraceptive and delivery system that demonstrated effectiveness such that 10 years after treatment, 90% of seals were still contracepted after a single dose.
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Developing various technologies
From 2000 to 2008, the company concentrated IMV’s research efforts on animal contraception for both wildlife and companion animals, while also working on vaccines for infectious diseases in livestock. Over those years the company continued to develop various technologies and began exploring potential new human applications. This research eventually led to acquiring surviving cancer targets from Merck (NYSE:MRK).
Treatment of human cancers
Using traditional vaccine delivery technology, Merck had been unable to generate optimal T-cell activation. By reformulating cancer targets in the company’s DPX delivery platform, IMV saw different results in preclinical research highlighting the potential for the treatment of human cancers. Thus, the company’s first clinical candidate, DPX-Survivac, emerged.
Since then, several clinical studies have demonstrated the potential of DPX-Survivac in cancer and today the company is continuing IMV’s development in six different cancer indications across multiple phase 2 studies.
Portfolio of cancer immunotherapies
IMV’s goal is to become a leading biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes differentiated cancer immunotherapies that are effective, tolerable, and easy to handle in a clinical setting. The company’s current efforts are focused on leveraging the unique mechanism of action of the DPX platform to build a portfolio of cancer immunotherapies.
Developing strategic partnerships
The company intends to be opportunistic in the development of products by exploring a variety of avenues, including co-development through potential collaborations, strategic partnerships, or other transactions with third parties. IMV has expressed interest to seek additional equity and non-dilutive funding and partnerships to advance the development of the company’s product candidates.
Valuable patent portfolio
The company’s intellectual property portfolio relating to IMV’s vaccine platform technology includes 20 patent families, the first of which contains eight patents issued in five jurisdictions including the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, and Australia. Taking into account the validations of the company’s European patents, the company’s intellectual property portfolio includes over 100 patents.
These patents have significant value and could lead to an increasing stock price in the future as the market recognizes the value that exists in the company.
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Fool contributor Nikhil Kumar has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.