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Why Is ImmunoGen (IMGN) Stock Up 131% This Year?


Shares of ImmunoGen, Inc. IMGN are massively up 130.9% this year so far, outperforming the the Zacks classified Medical-Drugs industry’s registered 3.6% increase during this period. Let’s analyze the factors that led to the rally.

Waltham, MA-based ImmunoGen is a development-stage biotechnology company, focused on developing targeted cancer therapeutics using proprietary antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology.

ImmunoGen has agreements with several big healthcare companies including Amgen Inc. AMGN, Bayer, Eli Lilly and Company LLY, Novartis NVS, Roche, Sanofi and Takeda. These agreements allow other companies to use ImmunoGen’s ADC technology and provide it with funds in the form of license and milestone fees, royalties, clinical materials revenue and R&D support fees.

ImmunoGen has made a significant progress with regard to the lead pipeline candidate, mirvetuximab soravtansine. The candidate is currently in a phase III study (FORWARD I) as a single-agent therapy for treating patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer whose tumors express high or medium levels of FR alpha and who have received up to three prior treatment regimens.

In Jan 2017, the company has announced the first patient to have been dosed in the study. Data from the study is anticipated in 2019.

Combination regimens with mirvetuximab soravtansine in ovarian cancer in the phase Ib/II FORWARD II study aim to expand the eligible patient population. Following the successful completion of dose escalation, a phase II expansion cohort in combination with Roche Holding AG’s Avastin is also ongoing.

Last month, IMGN announced some encouraging data from the FORWARD-I and FORWARD-II study which was presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in June.

A pooled analysis of data from the FORWARD-I phase II study was announced to show a consistent clinical profile of mirvetuximab soravtansine with an overall response rate (ORR) of 47% and a progression free survival (PFS) of 6.7 months in 36 patients.

The data meets the eligibility criteria for enrolment in the phase III FORWARD I study. Data from the FORWARD-II combinations studies, though early, also looked favorable.

An approval of mirvetuximab soravtansine would be a huge boost for ImmunoGen, given the immense commercial potential in the target market. Ovarian cancer results in maximum deaths per year among gynecologic cancers, with majority of the patients diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Per data provided by the American Cancer Society, approximately 22,440 new cases of ovarian cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017, resulting in over 14,080 deaths.

Apart from mirvetuximab soravtansine, ImmunoGen is working on developing a couple of other candidates. These include IMGN779 and IMGN632. IMGN779 is being evaluated in a phase I study for treating acute myeloid leukemia with data expected later this year. The company plans to file an investigational new drug application (INDA) for IMGN632 to treat hematological malignancies in the third quarter of 2017.

Though the platinum-resistant ovarian cancer market provides an immense commercial potential, ImmunoGen is notably set to face intense competition, upon approval. However, mirvetuximab soravtansine looks promising at this juncture and its approval will be a huge boost to the company.

ImmunoGen, Inc. Price and Consensus

ImmunoGen, Inc. Price and Consensus | ImmunoGen, Inc. Quote

ImmunoGen carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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