Like most biotechs without a drug generating revenue, ImmunoGen's (NASDAQ:IMGN) third-quarter earnings were a review of what it's accomplished and a look at what investors can expect in the future.

Fortunately, it's been a productive year for the company in terms of shoring up its balance sheet. Unfortunately, investors still have a ways to go before the revenue will start rolling in.

ImmunoGen results: The only number that really matters


Q3 2017

Q4 2016

Year-to-Date Change

Cash and cash equivalents

$194.9 million

$160 million


Data source: ImmunoGen.

What happened with ImmunoGen this quarter?

  • The Forward I trial testing mirvetuximab in patients with ovarian cancer is up to 90 sites enrolling patients, putting the trial on pace to complete enrollment in the middle of next year and read out in the first half of 2019.
  • Forward II, which is testing mirvetuximab in combination with other drugs, is expanding the number of patients treated with mirvetuximab combined with Roche's Avastin or Merck's Keytruda. ImmunoGen also plans to start testing a triple combination of mirvetuximab, Avastin, and a chemotherapy called carboplatin.
  • In August, the company announced a collaboration with Jazz Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:JAZZ) for IMGN779, a CD33-targeted antibody drug conjugate (ADC), and IMGN632, a CD123-targeted ADC. IMGN779 is already in a phase 1 trial for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia and an Investigational New Drug Application for IMGN632 was recently activated, allowing the company to start a phase 1 trial by the end of the year.
  • The deal with Jazz Pharmaceuticals, which added $75 million, combined with cash from the deals with Debiopharm and Sanofi earlier in the year have boosted ImmunoGen's nest egg. After the quarter closed, the company raised another $101.6 million in a secondary offering, giving it a two-year runway and enough time to get through the Forward I readout.
Cancer patient holding hands with a friend

Image source: Getty Images.

What management had to say

ImmunoGen still has one more drug -- coltuximab ravtansine, which targets CD19 -- that it's interested in monetizing, but Mark Enyedy, ImmunoGen's president and CEO, said in the earnings call that investors shouldn't hold their breath:

The interest there has been tepid, frankly. And so we've got an active conversation there. But I would say, the interest is tepid, given the competitive environment there. And so there's no predictive time frame for completing a transaction there. We had significantly more interest in the CD37 program, which resulted in the relationship with Debiopharm, which we're completing the tech transfer as we speak, which will generate a $5 million milestone. But the CD19 -- for coltuximab, the interest is limited.

Looking forward

While data from Forward I won't be available for awhile, investors will get to see some clinical data on IMGN779 at the American Society of Hematology meeting next month. The abstract didn't have much efficacy data, but management said updated data will be presented at the meeting.

Looking further down the line, efficacy data testing mirvetuximab combinations from the Forward II trial will be released next year, with the mirvetuximab and Keytruda combination announced at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology meeting in March, and the combination with Avastin reported at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June.

At the very least, the combination data is a backup plan if the Forward I trial fails. Best-case scenario, it offers an opportunity to expand sales of mirvetuximab, going after patients beyond the platinum-resistant ovarian cancer cases being tested in Forward I.