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New Patent for SN-38 Conjugates at IMMU

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Immunomedics, Inc. (IMMU) announced the issuance of U.S. patents (patent no. 8,617,558 and 8,617,518) for its antibody-SN-38 conjugates. Immunomedics’ shares gained more than 10% on Dec 31 following the news. We note that SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan (a camptothecin analogue), is approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.

The first patent (patent no. 8,617,558) is expected to expire in Dec 2023. The patent is related to Immunomedics’ proprietary linker technology for conjugating SN-38 to its humanized antibodies for targeted delivery of the potent drug for the treatment of tumor. Moreover, Immunomedics is prosecuting additional patents for its antibody-drug conjugates in other countries as well.

Results from early dose-escalation studies on two antibody-SN-38 conjugates (IMMU-132 and 130) have shown evidence of shrinkage in difficult-to-treat solid tumor among patients who were unsuccessful with multiple prior therapies. Immunomedics is developing IMMU-132 and IMMU-130 in phase II studies in patients suffering from solid tumor.

The other patent (patent no. 8,617,518) is scheduled to expire in Dec 2027. This patent will cover the methods and compositions of labeling peptides and other molecules with the diagnostic radioisotope, fluorine-18 (F-18) or the magnetic resonance imaging (:MRI) label, fluorine-19 (F-19).

The company has progressed well on its oncology portfolio in the last few quarters. However, we note that the oncology market has big players like Roche (RHHBY).

Immunomedics currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks include Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and Forest Laboratories Inc. (FRX). Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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