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Iovance Biotherapeutics stock flies on positive data for tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte technology

CEO Maria Fardis says the platform technology may offer patients with different advanced cancers a ‘potential therapy’
A magnifying glass highlights the words "cancer."
Iovance Biotherapeutics focuses on developing cancer immunotherapy products to harness the power of a patient's immune system to eradicate cancer cells

Iovance Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:IOVA) stock soared Thursday after the late-stage biotechnology company shared positive interim data from clinical trials evaluating its novel cancer immunotherapy based on tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) technology.

The new data will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago starting on May 31.

Investors cheered the news, sending shares in the company up nearly 33.9% to $15.04.

READ: Hemispherx Biopharma’s well-funded to take promising cancer drug Ampligen through clinical trials

In the early stages, the immune system tries to fight cancer by mobilizing special immune cells known as lymphocytes to attack the tumor, but cancer cells soon adapt and suppress the anti-tumor immune response. Iovance’s TIL technology is designed to address the obstacles that block the natural anti-tumor immune response.

Encouraging data

Data from the innovaTIL-04 study, assessing lead candidate LN-145 in patients with a with recurrent, metastatic or persistent cervical cancer showed an objective response rate of 44% (1 complete response, 9 partial responses and 2 unconfirmed partial responses) and a disease control rate of 89%.

“As advanced cervical cancer is typically diagnosed at a relatively young age and efficacy of existing treatment options is extremely low, there is potential to significantly impact care with an option that can bring about long-term remission and complete responses,” said study investigator Amir Jazaeri, who is associate professor of gynecological oncology and reproductive medicine at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. “The interim data from LN-145 present compelling evidence that TIL therapy, provided as a single administration, could improve upon current treatments.”

On a separate note, updated results from Cohort 2 in the ongoing innovaTIL-01 study demonstrated a response rate 38% in 55 consecutively dosed post-PD-1 patients with Stage IIIC/IV melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. 

“We are pleased to be sharing our broader melanoma data and now Gen-2 cervical data at ASCO. The data are indicative of the efficacy of TIL therapy in multiple indications,” said Iovance Biotherapeutics CEO Maria Fardis. “We believe that TIL therapy is a platform which may offer patients with different advanced cancers a potential therapy.”

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter@UttaraProactive 

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