"IF A-7 can produce significantly better results in combination with these drugs, then the value of A-7 goes UP dramatically."
And how long would it take to prove such results are possible? How many more years for another trial to be conducted?
Yes, the value of A-7 would go up dramatically if proven to be effective in combination with another drug, but will the company remain independent while that trial is being conducted? Will the investors be able to reap the benefits of seeing A-7 prove effective with a PD-1 drug? Or don't you think A-7 or the company will be sold long before that happens?
1) Vical has already produced at least one ANIMAL study that does show some synergistic benefits between A-7 and PD-1.
2) Animal studies can be run relatively quickly, especially by big pharma.
3) It is my personal belief the Merck and BMY will be especially interested in buying Vical BEFORE they can finish a human study combo of A-7 with their PD-1 drugs.
4) The reason has to do with comments by Vijay concerning T-Cell INFILTRATION of only 30 to 40% in Melanoma, which I assume will be the same or less with other solid tumor cancers.
5) PD-1 drugs canNOT be effective if T-cells do NOT INFILTRATE a tumor, and that might explain why the PD-1 ORR is from 30 to 40%.
6) Administration of A-7 to a tumor should cause 100% INFILTRATION by T-Cells to that specific tumor. But, PD-1/PDL-1 shielding and other anti T-Cell evasive actions by the tumor reduces the effectiveness of a T-Cell response.
7) Therefore, based upon my limited scientific understanding, I believe that A-7 in combination with PD-1 drugs should produce ORR results that are far superior to other known combos.
BOTTOM LINE: I believe that a bidding war will erupt between Merck and Bristol Meyers, with Roche and a few others potentially also submitting competitive bids to BUYOUT Vical, shortly after A-7 results are announced.