OncoSec Medical Inc (NASDAQ:ONCS), a company developing DNA-based intratumoral cancer immunotherapies, announced today that the Company has enrolled the first patient into a pilot biomarker trial of ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 in patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). ImmunoPulse™ IL-12, which employs intratumoral electroporation to enhance delivery of DNA-based interleukin-12 (IL-12), is designed to enhance tumor immunogenicity, leading to increased tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) and pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Previous studies have demonstrated that breast cancer patients whose tumors are associated with markers of inflammation, such as the presence of TILs, have better clinical outcomes. These data have initiated an effort by an international consortium to develop guidelines and recommendations for the routine evaluation of TILs for breast cancer. Further, preliminary data reported at the 2014 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium indicate that TNBC is responsive to cancer immunotherapies, such as anti-PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint therapies. However, response rates in these TNBC patients, who were selected for study participation based upon TIL status, were only 18 to 33 percent.

“There is increasing evidence that breast cancer patients with tumors characterized by a ‘pro-inflammatory phenotype,’ including those with TNBC, have better responses to chemotherapy and experience longer disease-free and overall survival rates,” said Mai H. Le, MD, Chief Medical Officer at OncoSec. “We anticipate that ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 will drive a tumor-specific inflammatory response in TNBC patients. The goal with ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 is to increase the number of patients who will benefit from anti-PD-1 therapy. We are very excited to be working closely with our colleagues at Stanford University to evaluate the role of ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 in promoting tumor immunogenicity.”

Melinda L. Telli, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and Irene Wapnir, MD, Professor of Surgery (General Surgery), are leading this clinical trial at Stanford University Medical Center. Approximately 10 patients are planned for enrollment into this trial. The primary objective of the study is to evaluate the potential of ImmunoPulse™ IL-12 to promote a pro-inflammatory molecular and histological signature in tumor samples obtained from study participants. Secondary objectives include: evaluation of safety and tolerability; evaluation of local ablative effect (% necrosis); and description of other evidence of anti-tumor activity. (Original Source)

Shares of OncoSec Medical Inc closed yesterday at $4.29. ONCS has a 1-year high of $8.40 and a 1-year low of $0.22. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $5.10 and its 200-day moving average is $5.79.

On the ratings front, OncoSec Medical has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on September 28, Maxim Group analyst Jason Kolbert reiterated a Buy rating on ONCS, with a price target of $17, which implies an upside of 296.3% from current levels. Separately, on August 19, H.C. Wainwright’s Mark Breidenbach initiated coverage with a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $25.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jason Kolbert and Mark Breidenbach have a total average return of -15.4% and -11.3% respectively. Kolbert has a success rate of 29.2% and is ranked #3803 out of 3808 analysts, while Breidenbach has a success rate of 36.4% and is ranked #3391.

OncoSec Medical Inc is a biotechnology company focused on designing, developing and commercializing gene therapies, therapeutics and proprietary medical approaches to stimulate and guide an anti-tumor immune response for the treatment of cancer.