OncoSec Medical Inc (OTCMKTS:ONCS) was trading near $1 back in March of last year but has been in steep decline since then recently dropping below $0.30 a share.
The Company recently presented preliminary findings indicating that ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 can increase tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma and melanoma. ImmunoPulse™ IL-12, which employs intratumoral electroporation to enhance delivery of DNA-based interleukin-12 (IL-12), is designed to promote anti-tumor activity. These interim findings are consistent with preclinical data and support a rationale for combining ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 with anti-PD-1 and other checkpoint therapies at the 11th Annual PEGS Conference in Boston earlier this month.
OncoSec Medical Inc (OTCMKTS:ONCS) is a biopharmaceutical company developing its ImmunoPulse immunotherapy to treat solid tumors. OncoSec Medical’s core technology is designed to enhance the local delivery and uptake of DNA IL-12 and other DNA-based immune-modulating agents. Clinical studies of ImmunoPulse have demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and preliminary evidence of anti-tumor activity in the treatment of various skin cancers, as well as the potential to initiate a systemic immune response without the systemic toxicities associated with other treatments.
OncoSec’s clinical programs currently include three Phase 2 trials targeting metastatic melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, conducted in collaboration with several prominent academic medical centers. As the company continues to evaluate ImmunoPulse in these indications, it is also investigating additional indications and combination therapeutic approaches.
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Using DNA IL-12, ImmunoPulse is designed to stimulate the body’s immune system and enable it to recognize, target and destroy cancerous cells. Using the OMS system, DNA IL-12 (a plasmid DNA construct with instructions to produce the IL-12 protein) is delivered into the electroporated cells. Upon entry, the gene triggers each cell to produce and secrete the IL-12 protein, which in turn identifies and eliminates cancerous cells as part of a natural immune response.
Introducing pro-inflammatory cytokine proteins into the body as a potential anti-cancer therapy has produced encouraging data. For example, interleukin-12 (IL-12) cytokine is a naturally occurring protein that activates and increases the levels of circulating macrophages and cytotoxic T-cells. In turn, this activity eliminates both foreign organisms and emerging cancerous cells.
Initial evidence suggests that this gene therapy has the potential to not only treat cancer cells in the target area, but to also trigger immune responses affecting remote cancer cells outside the direct treatment area including distant lesions.
The next major step for ONCS seems to be a partnership in preparation for running Phase 2B trials this year. As stated in a recent Seeking Alpha article by Shallum Furbush the three most likely partners are Merck, Bristol-Myers, and AstraZeneca. Each of these companies has an Anti-PD-1 or Anti PDL-1 drug that would benefit from OncoSec’s unique work with IL-12 and electroporation. The ability to convert the non-responders of Anti PD-1 treatments into responders is an advantage that no major pharmaceutical company can ignore. This makes a partnership a potential win-win for OncoSec and any one, or all of these well-known pharmaceutical giants..”
Conclusion: ONCS is exploding upwards on big volume after they announced that they entered a clinical collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), to evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the combination of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, and OncoSec’s ImmunoPulse (intratumoral IL-12) in metastatic melanoma.
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Currently trading at a $69 million market valuation ONCS clinical programs include three Phase 2 trials targeting metastatic melanoma, Merkel cell carcinoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, conducted in collaboration with several prominent academic medical centers. We will be updating on ONCS when more details emerge so make sure you are subscribed to Microcapdaily so you know what’s going on with ONCS.
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Disclosure: we hold no position in ONCS either long or short and we have not been compensated for this article.