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ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd (NYSEMKT:IMUC): Here's Our Take

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd (NYSEMKT:IMUC): Here's Our Take
Written by
Chris Sandburg
Published on
September 19, 2017
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It has been about a month since we last looked at ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd (NYSEMKT:IMUC).At the time, we concluded that the company was a risky allocation given the uncertainty surrounding a couple of key inputs (which we will look at in a little more detail shortly) but that It was definitely worth keeping an eye on ahead of some near-term events that could serve to swing sentiment a little bit towards the positive side of the equation. IMUC Daily ChartSince our coverage, ImmunoCellular has picked up a bit of strength, running from around $0.34 a share back during the middle of last month to current price in around $0.37 apiece. Since that date, however, we've had a conference call, some earnings and a listing requirement notice related to company's NYSE status.So how do these things play into our above-described thesis?First up, it's worth reminding readers that this company put its lead development program, rooted in an oncology asset called ICT-107, on hold earlier this year and spent the last few months winding down activity associated with said program. This was a phase 3 study and is one on which markets based a large portion of their valuation of ImmunoCellular so, unsurprisingly, on announcement, the company took a real hit.We have since learned that the new lead program is rooted in what's called a Stem to T Cell technology, but more on that in a moment.First, the second note of worth, that the stock is at risk of delisting if it is unable to boost stockholders' equity above $6.0 million before the end of next year (well, to be specific, December 23, 2018).When we got notice of the noncompliance, the company had reported a stockholders' equity of $0.4 million. Based on the latest earnings report, this has declined to ($2.9 million). ­Having said that, management just put out a notice reporting that the NYSE has approved its path to re-compliance. Of important note, this isn't the kind of compliance issue that can be fixed with a reverse split, so there is no immediate risk of a reverse split taking place.So, what does the company's pipeline look like? As noted, it's rooted in the Stem to T Cell program, which is essentially an alternative approach to immunotherapy. In current SOC immunotherapy assets (as well as in those that form the basis of development programs), the standard approach is to introduce a batch of T cells into the patient's system and hope that these (generally engineered outside of the body) cells start to attack the cancer cells they are designed to target.With ImmunoCellular's program, the treatment is rooted in stem cells, which are introduced to the patient having been engineered to produce killer T cells. The idea than that it is the patient's own body that is producing the T cells, removing the considerable risk of complication associated with this type of treatment, and (theoretically, at least) allowing for an unlimited production of targeted T cells during the course of treatment.It's a novel approach on that one that could prove pivotal in the space, but it's very early days right now. The company is still trying to establish proof of concept before heading into animal models and, only wants preclinical studies are complete, will we see this one-hit the clinic.With that said, however, ImmunoCellular is currently only priced at a $6 million market capitalization. This is substantially below its peers in the preclinical biotechnology space and, especially given the potential for a near-term asset sale of the above mentioned ICT-107 program to a company with deeper pockets and a longer runway (that could try and revive the program in an alternative oncology indication outside of that which ImmunoCellular investigated), there looks to be plenty of room for upside revaluation going forward.Check out our previous coverage of this one here. We will be updating our subscribers as soon as we know more. For the latest updates on IMUC, sign up below!Image courtesy of Libertas Academica via FlickrDisclosure: We have no position in IMUC and have not been compensated for this article.

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