Shares of Adaptimmune Therapeutics (ADAP -4.39%), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company that specializes in T-cell therapies to treat cancer, jumped 13.4% on Tuesday. The company's shares are down more than 58% so far this year.
The company reported positive proof-of-concept preclinical data on two of its new cell therapies after the market closed on Monday. Adaptimmune was presenting the data at an American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy conference. The news broke the day before the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose more than 2%. Those two factors drove the stock higher.
The most important detail out of the report is that Adaptimmune said it is planning to start a phase 1 trial with ADP-A2M4N7X19 to treat multiple solid tumors and a phase 1 trial for ADP-TILIL7 to treat patients with metastatic melanoma. Both drugs are part of the company's SPEAR (specific peptide enhanced affinity receptor) T-cell platform.
The news was important because it shows the company is building on the early success of its first-generation therapy, afami-cel (afamitresgene autoleucel), which is in phase 2/3 trials to treat synovial sarcoma, a cancer that affects various soft tissues of the body. Adaptimmune said it intends to file for a Biologics License Application in the fourth quarter for the therapy as Adaptimmune looks to see if it can be successful against other cancers. Adaptimmune has another therapy, ADP-A2M4CD8, in late-stage trials to treat ovarian cancer and esophageal and esophageal junction cancer.
As a clinical-stage biotech, Adaptimmune reported $3.6 million in first-quarter collaboration revenue from Genentech, which is owned by Roche, up from $0.4 million in the first quarter of 2021. Adaptimmune said it lost $50.3 million in the quarter, representing an earnings-per-share (EPS) loss of $0.05, compared with a $37.8 million loss and an EPS loss of $0.04 in the same period last year. One concern is that the company's cash position is down to $89.5 million. But that combined with cash equivalents, marketable securities, and expected payments from its collaboration agreement with Genentech is enough, Adatptimmune says, to fund operations into early 2024.
The company is definitely a long-term play. Investors will want to see continued trials progress from Adaptimmune, and like any clinical-stage biotech, there's an assumption the stock carries more than a bit of risk.