Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:PPHM), a biopharmaceutical company committed to improving patient lives by manufacturing high quality products for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and advancing its proprietary R&D pipeline, today announced that the National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) has awarded three grants to investigators to support research of bavituximab in combination with other therapeutics for the treatment of glioblastoma, head and neck cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

NCCN, a not-for-profit alliance of 27 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.  Funding for the three investigator-initiated clinical studies will take place through a $2 million research grant made by Peregrine to NCCN’s ORP.  NCCN will be responsible for oversight and monitoring of the clinical studies through the research grant.  It is expected that the selected trials will be initiated in early 2017.

“NCCN is excited to initiate three studies by accomplished investigators at NCCN Member Institutions that will explore the effect of this novel immunotherapy in three different cancers with significant unmet need,” said Robert C. Young, MD, Interim Vice President, NCCN ORP.

The following NCCN-affiliated researchers were recipients of the grant awards:

  • Jessica Frakes, MD, Moffitt Cancer Center, “A Phase I Trial of Sorafenib and Bavituximab Plus Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) for Unresectable Hepatitis C Associated Hepatocellular Carcinoma”
  • Elizabeth Gerstner, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, “Phase I/II Clinical Trial of Bavituximab with Radiation and Temozolomide for Patients with Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma”
  • Ranee Mehra, MD, The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, “Phase II Study of Pembrolizumab and Bavituximab for Progressive Recurrent/Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck”

“Our collaboration with NCCN provides the unique opportunity to support the group’s highly-regarded research institutions and advance our understanding of the potential role of bavituximab in the treatment of various cancers. With this in mind, we were very pleased by the level of interest shown in bavituximab from the NCCN community and are grateful to all those who submitted their projects for rigorous evaluation by the ORP scientific review committee,” said Joseph Shan, MPH, vice president, clinical and regulatory affairs of Peregrine.  “We’d like to extend our congratulations to the three investigators who were selected for their unique and innovative concepts.  These studies align with our development strategy for bavituximab which is currently focused on small, early stage clinical trials evaluating the drug in combination with other cancer treatments. Collaborators such as NCCN play a central role in this strategy and we look forward to integrating the valuable clinical data generated by these investigators to expand our knowledge regarding bavituximab-focused cancer treatment combinations.”

Bavituximab is an investigational chimeric monoclonal antibody that targets phosphatidylserine (PS). Signals from PS inhibit the ability of immune cells to recognize and fight tumors. Bavituximab is believed to override PS mediated immunosuppressive signaling by blocking the engagement of PS with its receptors as well as by sending an alternate immune activating signal. PS targeting antibodies have been shown to shift the functions of immune cells in tumors, resulting in multiple signs of immune activation and anti-tumor immune responses. (Original Source)

Shares of Peregrine are up nearly 8% to $0.405 in pre-market trading. PPHM has a 1-year high of $1.33 and a 1-year low of $0.29. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $0.37 and its 200-day moving average is $0.42.

On the ratings front, Peregrine has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 15, Roth Capital analyst Joseph Pantginis reiterated a Hold rating on PPHM, with a price target of $0.50, which represents a potential upside of 33% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on June 3, FBR’s Thomas Yip reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $1.00.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joseph Pantginis and Thomas Yip have a total average return of 6.4% and 55.0% respectively. Pantginis has a success rate of 35% and is ranked #437 out of 4147 analysts, while Yip has a success rate of 32% and is ranked #59.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that engages in the provision of monoclonal antibody therapeutics. It operates through Peregrine and Avid segments. The Peregrine segment refers to research and development of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment and diagnosis of cancer. The Avid segment provides contract management services for peregrine and third-party customers on a fee-for-services basis.