Stock on the rise

What: Shares of Celldex Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CLDX), a clinical-stage biotech developing targeted cancer therapies, gained 14.5% last month, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Bargain hunters recognizing a great deal have been scooping up shares of this company since the stock collapsed in March, driving the price steadily upwards.

CLDX Chart

CLDX data by YCharts.

So what: When Celldex's first drug to enter phase 3, Rintega, failed to significantly outperform the treatment received by a control group of patients in a deadly form of brain cancer, Celldex stock nearly smacked pavement. At a few points early last month, its market cap dipped below $350 million, despite several promising candidates in its clinical-stage pipeline and over $254 million in cash and marketable securities on its balance sheet.

I've been banging the table about this company's value proposition ever since, and it seems a handful of billionaires are in the same camp. While I'm sad to report there wasn't much to get excited about last month besides some bargain shopping, Celldex investors have plenty to look forward to in the quarters ahead.

Now what: At the American Society of Clinical Oncologists annual meeting last weekend, Celldex announced results from a 60-patient trial with two of its drugs, CDX‑1401 and CDX‑301.

Celldex Therapeutics CDX-301

Image source: Celldex Therapeutics.

The first, CDX-1401 is a two-sided protein that binds to targets found on the surface of various tumor cells, and the other side binds to a special type of blood cells that begins an immune attack. During the trial, 22 of 30 patients treated with 1401 alone showed the sort of immune response the drug is supposed to incite.

The other drug, CDX-301, binds to stem cells and encourages them to become the sort of immune blood cell that would eventually recognize CDX-1401 and trigger an immune response. During the same trial, all 30 patients pre-treated with 301 showed the response 1401 is supposed incite.

While these drugs are in early clinical stages, Celldex has two more candidates that are even more promising -- and far closer to the finish line. The 14.5% gain last month has pulled this stock out of the bargain-basement bin, but I'd say the market hasn't given the company's pipeline the valuation it deserves.