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Hemispherx Biopharma makes steady progress in cancer clinical trials

CEO Thomas K Equels said results from ongoing clinical trials over the next 18 months will act as ‘strong value drivers’ for the stock

Hemispherx Biopharma makes steady progress in cancer clinical trials
The company’s stockholder equity increased by $2,618,000 during the second quarter to $6,548,000

Hemispherx Biopharma Inc (NYSEAmerican:HEB) reported second-quarter results Thursday that showed impressive balance sheet growth as the company made steady progress with its flagship drug Ampligen that is in clinical trials to treat multiple cancers.

As of June 30, Ocala, Florida-based Hemispherx had cash and marketable securities of $2,864,000. That’s more than a million in cash growth over the $1,825,000 it reported on December 31. 

In a statement accompanying the company’s latest numbers, CEO Thomas K Equels said: “The company’s stockholder equity increased by $2,618,000 during the second quarter to $6,548,000 and we expect to continue on this positive trajectory.”

READ: Hemispherx Biopharma issues updates for ongoing immunotherapy trials of its drug Ampligen

"We look forward to the results from our ongoing clinical trials over the next 18 months, seeing them as strong value drivers for the stock. Thus far, we have had strong, steady and consistent clinical progress in immuno-oncology. I believe this is critical to creating long-term stockholder value, as success in any one of our ongoing or upcoming clinical trials has the potential to be a strong market catalyst," noted Equels. 

Clinical update

Ampligen, approved in Argentina to treat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, is involved in a pair of Phase 2 trials for recurrent ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.

"Especially significant are the larger clinical trials, such as our Phase 2 recurrent ovarian cancer trial combining Ampligen and pembrolizumab. All our trials are paid for by third parties without Hemispherx conceding any rights for development,” said Equels.

“I believe that third parties' fronting of trial costs shows that it's not just Hemispherx that believes in Ampligen, but that major cancer research centers, governmental grantors and the pharmaceutical industry grantors also see the potential of Ampligen as a combination therapy."

In a 45-patient ovarian cancer trial, treatment of the first patient began on June 11, while the 60-patient prostate cancer trial has received US Food and Drug Administration approval.

The trials are evaluating Ampligen’s ability to alter what’s known as the microenvironment of a tumor, essentially making it more susceptible to other cancer treatments.

Additionally, Ampligen is being used in a Phase 2a trial for colorectal cancer that has metastasized to the liver, a Phase 1/2 study for recurrent ovarian cancer and an open label study for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.

Financial highlights

For the quarter ended June 30, the company reported a net loss of $2,029,000, or $1.07 per share, compared with $2,415,000, or $2.38 per share, for the same period in the previous year.

R&D manufacturing-related expenses for the second quarter decreased to 1,096,000, compared with $1,341,000 million for the same period a year earlier. The company chalked up the decrease to a reduction in manufacturing costs for Ampligen.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

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on 08/19/2019

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