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IMV Inc. (IMV) Q4 2020 Earnings Call Transcript

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IMV earnings call for the period ending December 31, 2020.

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IMV Inc. (IMV -4.98%)
Q4 2020 Earnings Call
Mar 17, 2021, 8:00 a.m. ET


  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Good morning, everyone, and welcome to the IMV Inc. fourth-quarter and year-end 2020 conference call and webcast. [Operator instructions] After the presentation, we will open the call for questions. Instructions will be provided at that time for you to queue up.

Please note that today's call is being recorded today, Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. I would like to now turn the call over to Monsieur Labbe -- Monsieur Pierre Labbe, chief financial officer of IMV Inc. Monsieur Labbe, you may begin.

Pierre Labbe -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Joan. Good morning ladies and gentlemen. My name is Pierre Labbe, chief financial officer at IMV. I'm pleased to welcome you to our year-end 2020 clinical, operational, and financial results conference call.

I'm joined today on this call by Fred Ors, our chief executive officer; Dr. Joanne Schindler, our chief medical officer; and Andrew Hall, our chief business officer. Fred will begin with a reminder of the company's opportunity. Then Joanne will present the clinical highlights, followed by Andrew on the commercial opportunity with our lead products.

And I will conclude with a financial overview. Fred will briefly conclude and we will have a Q&A session at the end of the presentation. Before we begin, I would like to remind you that except for historical information, this audio and webcast presentation contains forward-looking statements, which reflects IMV's current expectations about future event. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause IMV's actual results to differ materially from these statements.

These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to our ability to access capital, successful and timely completion of clinical trial, the receipt of all regulatory approvals, and other risk detail from time to time in our ongoing quarterly and filings and annual information form. The forward-looking statements made on this call are based on several assumptions which may prove incorrect, and they represent views only as of the date of this call and are presented for the purpose of assisting potential investors in understanding IMV's business and may not be appropriate for other purposes. IMV does not undertake to update forward-looking statements, whether written or oral, that may be made from time to time by or on its behalf, except as required under applicable security legislation. Investors are cautioned not to rely on these forward-looking statements and are encouraged to read IMV's continuous disclosure documents, including our current annual information form, as well as our audited annual consolidated financial statements, which are available on SEDAR and on EDGAR.

The press release, the MD&A, and the consolidated financial statement, and our most recent annual information form are also all available on IMV's website at If you wish to receive a copy of either of these documents, please do not hesitate to contact us. Finally, take note that we will take questions only from certified analysts. I will now turn the call over to Fred.


Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Pierre, and good morning, everyone. I hope you and your families are all doing well, and I am very pleased today to have the opportunity to share our progress and the steps we have ahead our pipeline development in 2021 and beyond. Looking back at the extraordinary year that was 2020, I would like to start first by saying thank you to all our employees and partners for the commitment to continue to provide our immunotherapy for cancer patients with high unmet medical needs and will continue to require new options of treatment. In this challenging time, we have made significant progress in our programs, delivering some of the best results in the industry for this hard-to-treat cancer.

And more than ever, we remain committed to our goal of making our treatment available to patients with a sense of urgency and audacity but always based on the most robust science. In that respect, I am really proud today to share with you the generic name of our first product, Maveropepimut-S, formerly known as DPX-Survivac. Not only this new name underline the audacity of our science, but it is also a stepping stone for us on our path to market. We see 2021 as a transform -- transformational year for IMV as we continue to expand the development into multiple cancer immunotherapy.

We have so far demonstrated clinical activity not in just one, but in four different late-stage cancer indication. And this in both solid and liquid tumors and both had monotherapy and in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor. In 2021, we are advancing Maveropepimut in three clinical trials and we will initiate the -- the phase 1 trial with DPX-SurMAGE, our new dual-targeted T cell therapy. We believe that our T cell therapy has the potential to become the backbone of immunotherapy for cancer as a single treatment in different lines of setting and with a broad range of possibilities for combination.

And I don't have the time this morning to go through all the details of the slide that we have in the deck supporting the statement -- this statement. But let me just highlight two important points. First, on Slide 8. In cancer, it is the dose that makes the treatment.

It has always been -- been the case for drug development, and it is not different for T cell therapy. We are the first to bring a solution to this. With our technology, we are able to generate a targeted dose of T cells in the blood of patients and sustain it over an extended period of time. And that makes a world of difference.

And this is why we have produced some of the best results in the industry because of this mechanism of action. Second, on Slide 9. Clinical activity is required for sure but it is not sufficient in today's highly competitive environment. We not only have clinical efficacy, but we also have a product profile that is overcoming the most important challenges for immunotherapy, which are very favorable tolerability profile, combined with duration of clinical benefits, as well the ease of care and cost-effectiveness.

We believe that all these statements together will be important for the future of medicine and that we are unique -- uniquely positioned. I'm now turning the call over to Joanne. Joanne.

Joanne Schindler -- Chief Medical Officer

Thank you, Fred, and good morning, everyone. I'm going to start with an update on the SPiReL study. This is an investigator-initiated phase 2 study evaluating Maveropepimut-S on low dose cyclophosphamide, or CPA, in combination with Merck's anti PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor, Keytruda, in DLBCL. Last November, at the annual meeting of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer, or SITC, lead investigator, Dr.

Neil Berinstein, and his colleagues on the Odette Cancer Center at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center in Toronto reported they had identified PD-L1 as a potential biomarker clinical response in patients with relapsed or refractory DLBCL in a combination trial. In December 2020, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, or ASH, Dr. Berinstein showed in the population of the valuable subjects that had PD-L1 positive tumors an overall response rate and a disease control rate at both 85.7%, with three of these subjects completing one year of study treatment. Overall, the treatment was well-tolerated.

The majority of treatment-related adverse events were grade 1 and 2, of which the most common were injection site reactions associated with the subcutaneous administration of Maveropepimut-S. Additionally, peripheral blood was assessed for survivin-specific T cell responses as measured by ELISpot. All three subjects with a complete response and three of four subjects with a partial response had positive responses, while only one subject for the best response of stable disease and one with progressive disease demonstrated a survivin-specific T cell response. This data suggests an association between the clinical responses with the mechanism of action of Maveropepimut-S.

On the strength of these promising results, we engage with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, to pursue the evaluation of the combination therapy in patients with the DLBCL. We recently received valuable and productive feedback from the FDA, and together with our partner, we're now in the process of finalizing the de -- design for our next study and expect to initiate the trial in the next quarter. We'll provide more details once the design is fi -- final.

Moving on now to the Basket trial on Slide 13. The objective of this exploratory trial conducted in collaboration with Merck is to identify and select the best solid tumor opportunities for the combination of Maveropepimut-S with Keytruda and low dose cyclophosphamide. Recruitment in five cancer indications followed the Simon two-stage design and each indication has pre-specified success thresholds defined by the expected effect of Keytruda as a monotherapy agent in each of the indications. One hundred and sixteen subjects have been enrolled across the different arms.

As shown in the figure on Slide 14, we've reached stage 1 criteria with sufficient data in four out of the five indications. In two indications, ovarian cancer and nonsmall cell lung cancer, the pre-specified criteria were not met and accrual has been stopped. In the liver cancer cohort, we've yet to enroll enough subjects to have sufficient data to make a determination. However, we'll be adjusting some of the eligibility criteria in order to accelerate enrollment rate in this indication.

We are pleased to announce that the combination therapy achieves the thresholds in two indications, metastatic bladder and MSI-H tumor cancers. These cohorts continue to accrue as we further evaluate the potential of the combination therapy in both these cancer types. This is promising data and it helps us to further define and broaden our prospective pipeline in oncology. With that, I'll move on now to the recent results of the DeCidE1 phase 2 study evaluating the safety and efficacy of Maveropepimut-S with intermittent and low dose cyclophosphamide late-stage ovarian cancer.

As we speak today, we've complete the enrollment for the study, and one patient remains on treatment for extended dosing. In December 2020, we presented top-line data showing long-lasting clinical benefit with an excellent safety profile in patients with advanced platinum-sensitive or platinum-resistant refractory disease. These data support our claim that Maveropepimut-S is among the first in vivo targeted T cell immunotherapy-based demonstrating clinically meaningful activity in a hard-to-treat solid tumor. Currently, we're analyzing the translational data from this trial with the goal of better understanding the mechanism of action of Maveropepimut-S and identifying potential predictive biomarkers.

Once the analysis is completed, we'll request a meeting with FDA in the second half of the year to discuss the dataset and finalize the design for phase b -- phase 2b trial. To complete my review of our oncology program, I'll now comment on the upcoming DPX-surMAGE phase 1 clinical trial, which is a collaboration with the research center of Quebec -- Laval University and aims to develop a novel dual-target T cell therapy with an initial clinical application in bladder cancer. More specifically, we'll be combining immunogenic peptides from the MAGE protein family that are frequently expressed in various human cancers including bladder, lung, and kidney with selected immunogenic peptides from the survivin protein composing our Maveropepimut-S drug candidate. The DPX-SurMAGE program will begin with a first-in-human study in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

The design of the trial is being finalized and we'll communicate further details as we target to start in the second half of this year. To conclude our clinical pipeline, a few words on our DPX-COVID-19 program. Due to the evolution of the regulatory landscape, the emergence of new variants, and the approval of vaccines in different areas of the world, the company is conducting complementary preclinical studies including evaluating the impact of the new variance. These studies are ongoing.

There still remain outstanding questions about the duration of the protection induced by the current and soon-to-be approved vaccines, their efficacy against emerging that variance, and the possible need to revaccinate. There's growing awareness among experts that the rollout of the newly approved vaccines is not going to bring an end to the pandemic overnight and the suppression of the virus is going to take a multi-pronged approach involving different vaccine technologies possibly over several years. We continue to believe that our DPX-based vaccines which offer a unique mechanism of action may potentially be part of the compelling solution to COVID-19 and to other future pandemics. Our goal is to generate sufficient clinical evidence to support this hypothesis.

As a conclusion, I'd like to emphasize what Fred said earlier, we expect 2021 to be transformational for IMV as we're progressing on the path to registration with our lead compound and broadening our pipeline with new DPX-based immunotherapies for hard to treat cancers. I'll return later to answer questions but before the Q&A, Andrew will give an overview of the commercial opportunity with Maveropepimut-S. With that, Andrew?

Andrew Sheldon -- Independent Chairman of the Board

Thank you, Joanne. Good morning everybody. I wanted to spend just a few minutes this morning walking through the IMV vision of -- the DLBCL market. So in line with regulatory guidance, our plan is to investigate Maveropepimut-S in combination with Keytruda in late line patients.

This represents a fast-to-market strategy and is now clearly a strategic goal for the company as our first launch opportunity from Maveropepimut-S. What I'm more interested in sharing with you is the opportunity based on the profile we have seen through the spiral study of the balance between efficacy and safety that provides this product in combination with Keytruda the to the opportunity to progress earlier lines of therapy and potentially to move toward an opportunity and maintenance within this disease space. As it is clear from the EPI in DLBCL, any movement out of the third line creates a significant commercial opportunity, one that we look forward to exploring as we progressed this product for -- forward toward the market. I'd also like to spend just a minute to what to remind everyone of the unique value that Maveropepimut-S presents as a novel therapy for oncology.

Fred touched on some of these points earlier but I think it is worth reminding everyone that with a unique mechanism of action, there is potential to be synergistic with other immunotherapies in oncology. We've demonstrated that in the -- sorry, in the spiral study in DLBCL with Keytruda. We have also demonstrated positivity in the basket study that Joanne just illustrated that the mechanistic synergistic -- synergy doesn't need to end there. And because of the favorable safety and tolerability profile that we've demonstrated both in our monotherapy trials as well as our trial in combination with Keytruda, we are confident that the opportunity to combine this therapy with other immune therapies will be part of the lifecycle management plan from Maveropepimut-S.

I would also like to remind everyone that this is a subcutaneous administration that can be stored at room temperature with an extended shelf life that enables broad utility without the complications that we know some therapies in oncology present. And finally, this is relatively easy to make and extremely cost-effective. In a world where therapies for oncology are creating price points that are significant, this presents IMV with a unique opportunity to potentially disrupt the market on a pricing strategy. Clearly, our clinical data will need to read out for us to inform that strategy, but I think it is important to remind everyone that the uniqueness of this product profile goes far beyond just the clinical data set that we've demonstrated so far.

With that, as a brief commercial snapshot, I look forward to taking questions later but I'll pass the call to Pierre who will walk through the financial summary.

Pierre Labbe -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Andrew. Before I start, I just want to remind you that all the numbers that I will be discussing are in Canadian dollars. So, for 2020 our R&D expenses were at CAD 26.6 million an increase of CAD 7.6 million over 2019. This CAD 7.6 million increase is mainly due to a rise in expenses related to the ongoing baskets trial, the personal cost due to an increase in that count, and the preclinical development of our DPX-COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

The R&D expenses for the development of our DPX-COVID-19 were offset by new government assistance. That government assistance totaled CAD 6.7 million in 2020. It's an increase of CAD 4.2 million compared to 2019. And as I just mentioned, the increase is mainly explained by the various government grants that we receive for the development of our DPX-COVID-19 candidate.

The G&A expenses were CAD 15.2 million for 2020, compared with CAD 10.1 million in 2019. And the increase is mainly attributable to a higher insurance premium for CAD 2.7 million, an increase of CAD 1.3 million in foreign exchange slots, and an increase of CAD 0.7 million in non-cash DSU compensation. The net loss and comprehensive loss was CAD 34.9 million, or CAD 0.58 per share for 2020, compared to CAD 27.4 million, or CAD 0.55 per share for 2009. As of December 31, 2020, the company had cash and cash equivalents of CAD 46.4 million, compared to CAD 14.1 million at the end of 2019.

And based on our current operating plan, the actual cash is expected to fund operations for the next 12 months. Cash and cash equivalents increased by CAD 32.3 million in 2020. We use CAD 34.8 million of cash in our operating activity and CAD 0.4 million in investing activity. At the same time, our financing activities generated CAD 67.5 million.

The cash generated by financing activities that came primarily from the CAD 25.1 million private placement that we completed in May 2020, and by the gross proceeds of nearly CAD 41 million from the -- at the market's activities that we had in place, and by CAD 2.3 million coming from the exercise of common share warrants. As of March 16, 2021, the number of issued and outstanding common shares what -- was CAD 67.7 million and a total of CAD 5 million stock options, DSU, and warrants were outstanding at that date. Finally and as mentioned in the introduction, the corporation's audited annual constantly displayed results of our operations, financial condition, and cash flows for the year ended December 31, 2020, and the related management discussion and analysis are available on SEDAR, on EDGAR, and on the company's website as well. So thanks for your attention, and I will now turn the call back over to Fred for his closing comments before the Q&A session.


Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you, Pierre. I hope you all appreciated the significant progress IMV realigned on multiple fronts in 2020. Especially the -- the compelling data we presented at the end of the year in our oncology program in both DLBCL and ovarian cancer. In addition to that, we also achieved significant financial and operational milestones including welcoming new key employees and directors such as Andrew Hall as our chief business officer.

We are very happy to have him on board and has -- our director Michael Bailey, the president and CEO of Aveo Oncology which we -- which just recently got FDA approval in renal cell carcinoma. Happy to have Michael on board as well. Looking ahead up 2021, we anticipate this may turn out to be an important point for IMV in R&D's evolution as we have them done the registration path and further that mental lead compound, Maveropepimut-S in relapsed/refractory in DLBCL in late-stage ovarian cancer and older solid tumor indication, while we continue to expand our pipeline to include our first dual-targeted T cell therapy in bladder cancer. As we continue making progress unlocking the full potential of our platform DPX in our quest to deliver effective, tolerable, and easy-to-handle immunotherapies to patients which help to treat cancers, we are grateful for the continued support of all our stakeholders, partners, shareholders, and employees.

Thank you for your attention. Operator, we are now ready to take questions.

Questions & Answers:


[Operator instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Tom Shrader from BTIG. Your line is now open.

Tom Shrader -- BTIG -- Analyst

Hi, good morning. Congratulations on all the progress. You're going to need a nickname for that drug. But I have a PDL-1 question that I really want to ask twice.

In DLBCL, do you have a cutoff? And do you measure it by some sort of biopsy of the lymphoma mass, or is it -- is it all B cells? Is it tumor microenvironment? What exactly are you measuring and are the rules kind of the same as the solid tumor where the cutoffs are either 1% or 50%? I know it's harder to measure.

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Joanne, do you want to take that one, please?

Joanne Schindler -- Chief Medical Officer

Yeah. Hi, thank you. Thanks for the question. And, yeah, we might need a nickname there.

So, for this PDL-1, yes, we do look at the tumor tissue. And for now, as we're trying to better understand where we might set a cutoff, we don't have one at this point in time that's specific, we would look throughout the tumor. So, we'll look at the tumor cells, we'll look at the microenvironment as well to better understand that so that we can set this in the future.

Tom Shrader -- BTIG -- Analyst

OK. And -- and really the same questions for the non-small cell cohort that didn't work. I mean, people are kind of finding that to add to PD-1, you really have to find a place where PD-1 works well. So, were all those patients significantly PDL-1 positive in that cohort?

Joanne Schindler -- Chief Medical Officer

So, this is Joanne again. That -- that is information that we're pulling in now. So, we'll have more information about that in the future. As you can imagine, lot of data set that we need to go through and to better understand these results.

Tom Shrader -- BTIG -- Analyst

OK, great. Thanks. Sorry for the early question.


Your next question comes the line of Joe Pantginis from H.C. Wainwright. Your line is now open.

Joe Pantginis -- H.C. Wainwright -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, everyone. Thanks for taking the question. I'm going to starts toward the back end of the call with Andrew's comments and his comment that Maveropepimut-S is easy to make. And I just -- I wanted to focus on that because that is a very powerful, I believe.

But I want to translate the -- the comment to your new assets and the ease or plug-and-play nature to make, you know, dual antigens like SurMAGE and additional ones going forward. So, I just wanted to see how it's translatable to additional assets. Thanks.

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

I'll start, Andrew, and then you -- you can complement. Thanks for this question, Joe. I -- I -- I need to -- to -- I think a very important point for -- for this technology and for us as a company. So, I think -- sorry, is a first asset we're developing and we're really like I said in my introduction, are generating one of the best results in T cell therapy.

But the way we are looking at this technology is exactly in line with what you -- you were just saying. We -- we have done some -- some demonstration that we could combine a very high number of different targets in one formulation. I think we went up to 30 targets at some -- some point. So, it's a very, you know, flexible technology and that is very, you know, cost-effective like you were just saying that it's really giving us this -- this flexibility and opportunity to venture into targeting cancer from multiple angles that could, you know, potentially work together in making a very strong T cell therapy.

And it's really where we see, you know, the blue sky in the future of -- of this technology going. And SurMAGE is really the first, you know, we're going to -- going to provide the first clinical look at -- at you know, the -- the benefit of combining, you know, two different peptides on -- on a tumor with two different targets that could, you know, hacked with complement -- complementarity. Andrew, I don't know if you want to add on that.

Andrew Hall -- Chief Business Officer

Thank you. Thank you, Fred. And thanks, Joe, for the question. So, to get back to the point of manufacturing simplicity but from a economics perspective, manufacturing cost because of the relatively -- and I don't want to belittle the process because there is a lot of technological know-how that goes into it because of the relatively straightforward process and the relatively inexpensive -- inexpensive process of combining the DPX technology with the therapeutic targets that we've investigated so far, we do have a really what I consider to be unique ability in this market to make some interesting commercial choices with respect to market disruption on our entrance strategy.

And so, your point is very well made, Joe, that we believe this is one of the advantages of the DPX technology as it relates to Maveropepimut-S. But we also recognize that that advantage can be carried through all of our pipeline and potentially beyond the peptide targets that we've so far identified in our pipeline.

Joe Pantginis -- H.C. Wainwright -- Analyst

Got it. And thank you very much for that color. And I guess, you know, a separate question maybe for Joanne. When you look at the basket cancer -- the basket study, excuse me, and you look at the liver cohort, obviously, just curious if you could take some broad strokes or even specific strokes regarding the adjusting enrollment criteria.

Joanne Schindler -- Chief Medical Officer

Thanks for the question. So, for the liver cancer cohort, one of the things that was holding us back was eligibility criteria. We were probably a little too conservative as it related to hepatitis B and C. And so, we --we will be broadening that and that will allow us to enroll more patients.

Joe Pantginis -- H.C. Wainwright -- Analyst

Got it. Pretty straightforward. So, thanks a lot guys.

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Joe.


[Operator instructions] Your next question comes from line of Paul Stewardson from iA Capital Markets. Your line is now open.

Paul Stewardson -- iA Capital Markets -- Analyst

Hey, guys. Thanks for taking my question. Just calling in for Chelsea. In terms of, you know, the -- the ovarian cancer strategy, can -- can you give us a bit of a directional sense of how close it came to the success threshold in the basket trial.

And, you know, in terms of would you consider other combinations or is this, you know, how does this relate to the monotherapy, you know, where you can go from here and a different combo of possibilities?

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Thanks. Thanks for your -- your question. The -- the basket trial -- the role of the basket trial was really to explore where the combination between our T cell therapy and -- and the checkpoint inhibitor in that -- in that case. Pembrolizumab or Keytruda would, you know, would really make a difference.

So, you know, we -- we set up, you know, ambitious objectives in -- in all those indications and we -- we have very carefully selected indications from ovarian where pembrolizumab had very limited activity to bladder and MSI-H where there is more activity. And the idea was really to better understand, you know, where we should focus, you know, the -- the development of that combination. So -- so, for us, you know, the fact that it didn't meet, you know, the threshold for ovarian, you know, in a way not, you know, too surprising given it was, you know, one of the indication in that basket that's where, you know, pembro had limited activity. And also, you have to consider that PDA-1 expression, generally speaking in ovarian cancer, is -- is pretty low.

So, you know, for what -- what it does is -- and -- and, you know, I think Andrew highlighted that and I did too in my introduction that, you know, we had a T cell therapy that has a -- a very favorable safety profile. And, you know, the -- the number of combinations we can do with this technology because we are not adding toxicity is -- is -- is very broad. And what you, you know, you can start -- we are starting to conclude from -- from, you know, the number of clinical studies we've done now is that, you know, there are indications where it can be applied at monotherapy and there is no value having a checkpoint inhibitor there might be value-adding another type of -- of treatment. And the other indications were clearly the combination of the checkpoint inhibitor and the T cell therapy making a big difference.

And like year -- this year, potentially MSI-H and bladder. And that's where we want to focus, you know, the combination with checkpoint inhibitors. For all indications, we'll go a single-agent or we'll combine with other types of treatments.

Paul Stewardson -- iA Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. Thanks. And -- and just kind of a -- a quick follow-up. Do you have a sense of timeline for when we'll start to see kind of more comprehensive data from the basket trial in terms of interim results?

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

What -- what -- what we'd like -- well, what -- what we want to do is really as Joanne was saying, you know, that there -- there are so many consideration you have to integrate before you make a decision to pursue a -- a combination -- a combination like this in a solid tumor. And it's not only the -- the objective response rate, obviously, but you have to look at the duration, you have to look at the PDL-1 expression, you have to look at whether the patients previously receive checkpoint inhibitors or not. And -- and, you know, we -- we don't want to -- to necessarily rush into another, you know, potentially rush -- rush in trial even when, you know, we are advancing DLBCL and -- and ovarian. And we really want to take the time to make the right decisions with our partner, Merck, on that case to where we should focus the development in solid tumors.

So, you know, it's difficult for us to provide guidance exactly on when we'll be positioned to make a publication. We'd like to publish the -- the results rather than, you know, providing interim results piece -- piece by piece. But when we reach enough, you know, compelling evidence that there is a very strong rationale, for example, to -- to select, you know, one of two indications and move them into the next trial, that's where, you know, we will, you know, update the market and -- and publish the results.

Paul Stewardson -- iA Capital Markets -- Analyst

OK. Great. Thanks, guys.


Your next question comes from the line of Andre Uddin from Mackie Research Capital. Your line is now open.

Andre Uddin -- Mackie Research Capital -- Analyst

Hey, good morning, everyone. Fred, maybe you could just give us if you don't mind, a bit -- business development update and where are you in terms of -- of licensing. I know pharma always has some checkboxes that they have to see if you could just provide some color on BD that would be great. Thank you.

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Hi, Andre. Thanks for the question. I'll let Andrew into that one. Andrew?

Andrew Hall -- Chief Business Officer

Hey. Thanks, Fred. And thanks, Andre, for the question. As far as where we are at, we are in the exploratory mode.

We have, I believe, four unique pillars for -- for business development opportunity. Clearly, there's a licensing collaboration opportunity for the clinic products. We have a relationship with Merck that we look forward to exploring and developing in DLBCL for Maveropepimut-S. We obviously are bringing forward SurMAGE into clinics and we look forward to proving that product both in monotherapy and potentially in combination therapies.

If it sounds like this is an advertisement for business development, perhaps it is. But also, we -- we recognize that our platform of DPX technology can go far and beyond the targets that we have in our own pipeline. And so, I think that there is a very fertile ground for business development. I will say that since joining IMV, we've evolved our -- both appetite and strategic skillset to that end goal significantly.

And I would hope that through 2021, we can communicate materiality in our business development strategy as it relates to collaborations and partnerships.

Andre Uddin -- Mackie Research Capital -- Analyst

OK. Thank you.


There are no further questions at this time. I'll turn the call back to the presenters.

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Thank you. We don't have any more comments, so we're back to you. Thank you all for your time this morning.


[Operator signoff]

Duration: 37 minutes

Call participants:

Pierre Labbe -- Chief Financial Officer

Fred Ors -- Chief Executive Officer

Joanne Schindler -- Chief Medical Officer

Andrew Sheldon -- Independent Chairman of the Board

Tom Shrader -- BTIG -- Analyst

Joe Pantginis -- H.C. Wainwright -- Analyst

Andrew Hall -- Chief Business Officer

Paul Stewardson -- iA Capital Markets -- Analyst

Andre Uddin -- Mackie Research Capital -- Analyst

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