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IMV Spikes 13% Amid Positive Update On Covid-19 Vaccine Candidate

Shares of IMV Inc. jumped 13% in Monday’s pre-market trading after the clinical-stage biopharma company said that early studies showed that its vaccine candidate, DPX-COVID-19, has the potential to improve the span of protection against coronavirus infection.

In an update to investors, IMV (IMV) announced the completion of preclinical safety as well as immunogenicity and challenge studies, which demonstrated a favorable safety profile and the potential for the long duration of antibody titers and protection against SARS-CoV-2. Additional supporting evidence favoring DPX-COVID-19 includes T cell response and “natural” immunity, the company said. Furthermore, the vaccine candidate was shown to be stable at 2°C to 8°C and room temperature for at least three months.

The development of DPX-COVID-19 is based on the Canadian biotech’s first-in-class lipid-based vaccine delivery platform, deploying four complementary peptide antigens that were selected for their high immunogenicity to impact the virus’ infective function. As such, this approach, blends vaccine and immunotherapy science to generate an immune response that targets specific weaknesses of the coronavirus.

Fully synthetic, DPX-COVID-19 has the potential for fast and large-scale manufacturing to supply a significant number of doses rapidly compared to more conventional vaccines, IMV said.

“Synthetic technologies are paving the way to a new generation of vaccine solutions with the promise to revolutionize the way we protect ourselves from infectious diseases. Our vaccine is one of the first peptide-based targeted vaccines in development for COVID-19. The combination of its new mechanism of action, a lyophilized formulation with long-term stability, and capacity for large-scale manufacturing and supply has the potential to make it accessible on a global scale,” said IMV CEO Frederic Ors. “We believe that DPX-based vaccines represent a compelling solution to COVID-19 and future pandemics.”

“Our goal and focus will be to generate clinical demonstration in the first part of 2021 and by then we should have a better understanding of the duration of the protection induced by the most advanced vaccines and the possible need to revaccinate the population,” Ors added.

As a result of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants in different countries, IMV is planning to conduct complementary preclinical studies including testing on new variants and will provide an update in the first quarter of 2021 on its revised clinical plan.

Shares in IMV have more than doubled since hitting a low in March and are now trading 4.5% higher than at the beginning of the year. (See IMV stock analysis on TipRanks)

Nonetheless, H.C. Wainwright analyst Joseph Pantginis earlier this month reiterated a Buy rating on the stock with a Street-high price target of $13 (326% upside potential), as he pointed to the company’s progress made on DPX-COVID-19. The analyst expected IMV to initiate the Phase 1/2 trial by year-end.

“We believe potential upside exists as clinical data are delivered from multiple indications, overall pipeline development, as well as incorporation of ex-U.S. market potential for the company’s assets,” Pantginis wrote in a note to investors.

Overall, Wall Street analysts still have a cautiously optimistic outlook on the stock with a Moderate Buy consensus. That’s with an average analyst price target of $6.93, implying that a whopping 127% upside potential lies ahead over the coming year.

Related News:
Inovio Presents Positive Covid-19 Vaccine Trial Data; Top Analyst Says Hold
Sorrento Pops 8% Pre-Market On FDA Application For Covid-19 Test
Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine Gets Cleared For Use In Europe

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