What happened

After Immunomedics (IMMU) shared some positive clinical data with investors, shares of the clinical-stage biotech focused on cancer rose 17% as of 3:10 p.m. EST on Wednesday.

So what

Immunomedics announced data from a phase 2 study that tested its lead compound sacituzumab govitecan as a potential treatment for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (mTNBC). Data from the 110 patient study showed that sacituzumab govitecan elicited an objective response rate of 31%, with a median duration of response of 9.1 months. That's much better than the 10% to 15% response rate that current standard-of-care therapies provide.

Here's what Immunomedics' relatively new CEO Michael Pehl had to say about the data:

We believe the blinded independent adjudication affirms the significant clinical activity of sacituzumab govitecan as a single agent in the third-line setting for patients with relapsed or refractory mTNBC. We remain focused on bringing this important medicine to breast cancer patients expeditiously and on transforming Immunomedics into a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company, creating value for our stockholders.

CEO Pehl later went on to say that the company will use this data to seek an accelerated approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The company plans to submit this data for regulatory review starting in the first quarter of 2018.

Given the news, it is easy to understand why shares are flying high today.

Group of three doctors giving the thumbs up

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Today's news likely serves as some vindication to venBio Select Advisor, which is an activist investment firm that pressured Immunomedics to terminate its licensing deal with Seattle Genetics (SGEN) earlier this year. venBio felt that the deal undervalued sacituzumab govitecan as an asset, which is quite a statement considering that the original deal provided Immunomedics with a $250 million upfront payment and the ability to earn $1.7 billion in milestone payments.

With this strong data in hand and a former Celgene executive in the corner office, the future is certainly looking up for Immunomedics' shareholders. Risk-loving investors might want to keep an eye on this small-cap biotech.