Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:PPHM), a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics to stimulate the body’s immune system to fight cancer, today announced a new research collaboration with the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) to expand the company’s ongoing clinical research and development of bavituximab for the treatment of a range of tumors.  NCCN, a not-for-profit alliance of 26 of the world’s leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research, and education, is dedicated to improving the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of cancer care so that patients can live better lives.  Peregrine will fund multiple investigator-initiated clinical and correlative studies with bavituximab in multiple cancers at NCCN Member Institutions and their affiliate community hospitals through a $2 millionresearch grant to NCCN’s Oncology Research Program (ORP).  NCCN will be responsible for oversight and monitoring of the clinical studies through the research grant.

Bavituximab is an investigational immunotherapy designed to assist the body’s immune system by targeting and modulating the activity of phosphatidylserine (PS), a highly immune-suppressive signaling molecule expressed broadly on the surface of cells in the tumor microenvironment.  Peregrine’s PS targeted inhibitor, bavituximab, is thought to reverse the immunosuppressive environment that many tumors establish in order to proliferate and spread, while also fighting cancer by activating immune cells that target and fight cancer.  According to Peregrine, a broad set of preclinical and translational data has been assembled that supports the ability of bavituximab to improve the therapeutic activity of a range of cancer treatments, from traditional approaches, such as chemotherapy and radiation, to novel immuno-oncology agents such as checkpoint inhibitors.

“This collaboration with NCCN will allow us to significantly expand our clinical evaluation of bavituximab and augment Peregrine’s internal investigator sponsored trial (IST) program,” said Steven W. King, president and chief executive officer of Peregrine.  “Importantly, NCCN shares our strong research interest in evaluating unique bavituximab combination therapies for the treatment of cancer, and the group’s oversight of the program will allow for the conducting of many more studies than would have been otherwise possible.”

“NCCN is very pleased to collaborate with Peregrine Pharmaceuticals on their first-in-class novel targeted monoclonal antibody, bavituximab,” said Robert C. Young, MD, Interim Vice President, ORP, NCCN. “We look forward to a productive interaction in both clinical and pre-clinical studies undertaken at the NCCN Member Institutions.”

Peregrine expects results from this collaboration to further support the ongoing development of bavituximab as a key component of various combination cancer treatments.  Bavituximab is currently being evaluated in combination with docetaxel (chemotherapy) for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in the ongoing Phase III SUNRISE trial.  In addition, as part of its recently formed collaboration with AstraZeneca, Peregrine expects to initiate a global Phase II study of bavituximab in combination with AstraZeneca’s investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, durvalumab (MEDI4736), in patients with previously treated squamous or non-squamous NSCLC.  The company will also be evaluating bavituximab with chemotherapy combinations in HER2-negative breast cancer. (Original Source)

Shares of Peregrine Pharma closed yesterday at $1.16. PPHM has a 1-year high of $1.66 and a 1-year low of $0.91. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.21 and its 200-day moving average is $1.18.

On the ratings front, Noble Financial analyst Rahul Jasuja maintained a Buy rating on PPHM, with a price target of $5, in a report issued on December 14. The current price target implies an upside of 331.0% from current levels. According to, Jasuja has a total average return of -8.6%, a 16.7% success rate, and is ranked #3083 out of 3647 analysts.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. It develops novel investigational products that help utilize the immune system to fight cancer, also known as immunotherapy.