Shares of VBI Vaccines (NASDAQ:VBIV) were jumping 12.7% higher as of 3:22 p.m. EDT on Monday. The solid gain came after the company announced it would present additional biomarker data from the ongoing phase 1/2a clinical study evaluating VBI-1901 in recurring glioblastoma at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress.
VBI Vaccines is still small enough that any pipeline news is enough to cause the biotech stock to move significantly. In this case, even the expectation of positive news was sufficient to cause shares to rise.
The e-poster presentation at ESMO will attract attention to VBI's lead oncology candidate, VBI-1901. The drug is an investigational cancer immunotherapy that uses the company's enveloped virus-like particle (eVLP) technology to target two antigens to cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is believed to be prevalent in solid tumors including glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
VBI's phase 1/2a study consists of two parts. Phase 1 completed enrollment in December 2018 of 18 patients with recurrent glioblastoma. Phase 2a includes two arms, one evaluating VBI-1901 in combination with granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) as adjuvant and the other with VBI's drug combined with GlaxoSmithKline's AS01B adjuvant system.
The ESMO Virtual Congress begins on Sept. 17, so it will be a few more days before the details of VBI's update are known. An even bigger potential catalyst could be on the way. VBI expects to begin regulatory filings for Sci-B-Vac in the U.S., Europe, and Canada in the fourth quarter of this year.