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ImmunoGen Progresses with IMGN901

Zacks Equity Research

ImmunoGen, Inc. (IMGN) recently announced that it has finished enrolling patients for the initial stage of the two-stage NORTH phase II trial. The trial is being conducted to assess IMGN901, for the first-line treatment of extensive disease small-cell lung cancer (:SCLC).

With patient enrollment being completed, the company should be able to report results from a planned interim analysis on progression free survival (PFS) at six months in the second half of 2013. The NORTH trial is to include 120 patients in all.

IMGN901 is being evaluated with etoposide and carboplatin (E/C), the standard of care for this cancer variant, in the NORTH trial. Once interim results are available, the company intends to use the findings to decide on the development path for IMGN901.

We note that other companies are also developing candidates for SCLC treatment. In Jan 2013, Cerulean Pharma Inc. announced that the first patient was dosed in a phase II study being conducted with its SCLC candidate, CRLX101. The purpose of the study is to compare the efficacy of the candidate to topotecan, a chemotherapeutic agent. Celgene Corporation (CELG) is also developing its candidate amrubicin for SCLC.

We remind investors that ImmunoGen had initiated the North trial in Mar 2012. ImmunoGen also conducted a phase I study on IMGN901 for multiple myeloma. The candidate was evaluated with lenalidomide plus dexamethasone, a standard of care for this disease. We note that IMGN901 has orphan drug label for both SCLC and multiple myeloma in the US and EU.

ImmunoGen presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Comparatively, other biotech stocks look better positioned. These include Agenus Inc. (AGEN) and Novozymes A/S (NVZMY). They both carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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