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Imugene (ASX:IMU) share price lifts on major collaboration announcement

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The Imugene Limited (ASX: IMU) share price is marching higher in early trade. Imugene shares are up 4% even as the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) tumbles 1%.

The Imugene share price closed yesterday at 25 cents and is currently trading at 26 cents.

Below we look at the immuno-oncology company’s clinical trial collaboration announcement.

What collaboration was announced?

The Imugene share price is gaining after the company reported that it’s entered into a new clinical trial collaboration and supply agreement with US pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK), under its tradename MSD.

The collaborative trial will treat patients with HER-2 positive gastric cancer with Imugene’s HER-Vaxx, combined with MSD’s pembrolizumab. The trial will evaluate both the safety and efficacy of the combined treatment approach.

Commenting on the collaboration, Leslie Chong, Imugene’s CEO, said:

HER-Vaxx has already shown a tolerable safety profile and encouraging efficacy in patients with metastatic HER-2 positive gastric cancer, and we look forward to further evaluating HER-Vaxx with pembrolizumab in a relapsed/refractory metastatic setting.

This collaboration with MSD is significant for our company as it provides the opportunity to optimize and enhance our formulations and utility in an additional setting in an effort to improve outcomes for more patients.

Imugene said the main goal of the study is to evaluate the safety and response rate of the combination therapy. It will also assess patients’ “duration of response, progression free survival, overall survival, and biomarker evaluation”.

In accordance with the agreement, Imugene will sponsor and fund the clinical study. It said this will be done from its existing budgets and resources.

In return, MSD will provide pembrolizumab for the duration of the study, which is expected to run for at least 24 months.

Imugene share price snapshot

The Imugene share price has been a stellar performer over the past 12 months, up 112%. By comparison, the All Ordinaries has gained 5% over that same time.

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