Micro-cap Canadian biopharma Imv Inc (NASDAQ: IMV) said Wednesday that it is advancing the clinical development of a DPX-based vaccine candidate for the coronavirus, joining a number of biotechs working on the virus as the world grapples with a pandemic.
The development program will establish the safety and immunogenicity of a vaccine candidate based on the company's DPX delivery technology that incorporates peptides targeting novel epitopes from the new coronavirus strain, IMV said in a press release.
DPX is IMV's proprietary lipid-based delivery platform that requires no aqueous component. It can be formulated with peptide antigens.
Its unique "no release" mechanism of action allows antigen presenting cells to be attracted to the injection site, facilitating a robust and sustained immune response within lymph nodes, according to IMV.
"We believe this technology offers a meaningful solution as a potential vaccine, especially in older adults and those with pre-existing conditions who are most at risk to this virus and generally more difficult to vaccinate effectively," CEO Frederic Ors said in a statement.
IMV said it intends to develop DPX-COVID-19 in collaboration with lead investigators for the Phase 1 clinical study of DPX-RSV, who will assist with preclinical and clinical evaluation and further development in collaboration with the Canadian government and others.
The company said its investigational asset DPX-RSV demonstrated a favorable safety profile and immunogenicity in older adults in a Phase 1 study. It has also reported preclinical data from several candidates targeting other infectious diseases such as malaria and anthrax.
The stock was trading 33.25% higher at $2.70 at the time of publication.