Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLDX) reported business and financial highlights for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015.

“2015 began with a significant accomplishment for RINTEGA®—the granting of Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the treatment of adult patients with EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma. We believe this designation underscores RINTEGA’s therapeutic potential for these patients,” said Anthony Marucci, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer. “To this end, we look forward to presenting updated data from the ReACT study in the recurrent setting at ASCO and eagerly await data from the fully enrolled ACT IV study in the frontline setting.

“This momentum is further supported by our growing pipeline. In the first quarter, we continued to advance several combination studies specifically designed to intervene at key points of immune regulation. The varlilumab/Opdivo® study and the varlilumab/Yervoy®/CDX-1401 study are now both open to enrollment. We also announced a clinical trial collaboration with Roche to combine their anti-PDL1 agent with varlilumab in a Phase 1/2 study that will initiate later this year. Additionally, glembatumumab vedotin is enrolling patients in two trials with plans for a third trial to start by year-end. Importantly, these initiatives, including our ongoing efforts to prepare for the potential commercial launch of RINTEGA, were further bolstered with the successful completion of an over-subscribed public offering in early March.”

Program Updates:

RINTEGA® (“rindopepimut”; “rindo”; CDX-110), an EGFRvIII(v3)-specific therapeutic vaccine for glioblastoma (GBM)

  • In February 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted RINTEGA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the treatment of adult patients with EGFRvIII-positive glioblastoma.
  • Enrollment was completed in late 2014 in ACT IV (n=745), the Phase 3 registration study in newly diagnosed patients with GBM. Interim analyses will be conducted by an independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board at 50 and 75% of events. The first interim analysis is expected in mid-2015.
  • Data from the Phase 2 ReACT study in patients with recurrent GBM will be presented in an oral session in the Clinical Science Symposium “Immunotherapy for Central Nervous System Tumors: Biomarkers and Novel Data” at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 31, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. by David A. Reardon, M.D., Clinical Director, Center for Neuro-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Center and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, and the lead investigator of the ReACT study.

Glembatumumab vedotin (“glemba”; CDX-011), an antibody-drug conjugate targeting gpNMB in multiple cancers

  • Patient enrollment is accelerating in the Company’s Phase 2b randomized study (METRIC) of glemba in patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancers that overexpress gpNMB, a molecule associated with poor outcomes for triple negative breast cancer patients and the target of glembatumumab vedotin. To date, 95 sites are open to enrollment across the United States, Canada and Australia. Trial expansion into the European Union is planned. Based on current projections, enrollment will extend into 2016.
  • The METRIC study will be presented in a clinical trial in progress poster session at the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 30, 2015.
  • Data from the Phase 2 EMERGE study of glembatumumab vedotin in metastatic breast cancer were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The data from this study supported the initiation of the METRIC study.
  • Patient enrollment continues in the Phase 2 study of glembatumumab vedotin in metastatic melanoma. To date, eight of 10 planned sites are open to enrollment in the United States.
  • Celldex continues to advance plans to expand the study of glembatumumab vedotin into other cancers in which gpNMB is expressed.
    • Study design is being finalized for a Phase 2 study in squamous cell lung cancer and the study will commence 2H 2015.
    • Celldex and the National Cancer Institute have entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) under which NCI will sponsor two studies of glembatumumab vedotin—one in uveal melanoma and one in pediatric osteosarcoma. Protocols for the study are currently being developed.

Varlilumab (“varli”; CDX-1127), a fully human monoclonal agonist antibody that binds and activates CD27, a critical co-stimulatory molecule in the immune activation cascade

  • In April 2015, the Company presented preclinical data that support varlilumab’s expansion into combination studies with PD-1 inhibitors in a poster session at the AACR Annual Meeting 2015. Data demonstrated that the combination of varlilumab and anti-PD-L1 induces a potent immune-mediated effect that results in important changes in the tumor microenvironment. Most notably, it was observed that the combination strategy improved the ratio of effector T cells to regulatory T cells, which was accompanied by a reduction in the expression of PD-1 on both effector and regulatory T cells.
  • In April 2015, Celldex announced the initiation of a Phase 1/2 study examining the combination of varlilumab and ipilimumab (Yervoy®; Bristol-Myers Squibb) in patients with Stage III or IV metastatic melanoma. This study is currently open to enrollment. In the Phase 2 portion of the study, patients with tumors that express NY-ESO-1 will also receive CDX-1401, Celldex’s off-the-shelf antibody-based dendritic cell vaccine that targets tumors expressing the NY-ESO-1 oncoprotein.
  • In April 2015, Celldex announced that it had entered into a clinical trial collaboration with Roche to evaluate the combination of varlilumab, Celldex’s CD27 targeting investigational antibody, and MPDL3280A (anti-PDL1), Roche’s investigational cancer immunotherapy in a Phase 1/2 study in renal cell carcinoma. Under the terms of this agreement, Roche will provide study drug and Celldex will be responsible for conducting and funding the study, which is expected to open to enrollment in 2H 2015.
  • In January 2015, Celldex announced that enrollment had opened in the Phase 1/2 study of varlilumab and Opdivo® in adult patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, metastatic melanoma, colorectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. This study is being conducted by Celldex under a clinical trial collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. The companies are sharing development costs.
  • The Phase 1b study of varlilumab and ONT-10, Oncothyreon’s therapeutic vaccine targeting the tumor-associated antigen MUC1, continues to actively enroll patients with advanced breast or ovarian cancer. Celldex is providing study drug and Oncothyreon is conducting the study.
  • Efforts are underway for additional Phase 2 studies of varlilumab and the Company will provide updates on these studies as they are initiated.

CDX-1401, an antibody-based NY-ESO-1-specific therapeutic vaccine for multiple solid tumors

  • In April 2015, Celldex announced the initiation of a Phase 1/2 study examining the combination of varlilumab and ipilimumab (Yervoy®; Bristol-Myers Squibb) in patients with Stage III or IV metastatic melanoma. This study is currently open to enrollment. In the Phase 2 portion of the study, patients with tumors that express NY-ESO-1 will also receive CDX-1401, an off-the-shelf antibody-based dendritic cell targeted vaccine.
  • Celldex continues to support several external collaborations, including a National Cancer Institute sponsored Phase 2 study of CDX-1401 and CDX-301 for patients with metastatic melanoma, which is open to enrollment.

CDX-301 (recombinant human Flt3L), a potent hematopoietic cytokine that uniquely expands dendritic cells and hematopoietic stem cells

  • CDX-301 is being developed as a combination product with other immuno-oncology agents in a number of investigator-sponsored studies.
  • A pilot study of CDX-301 alone and in combination with Mozobil® in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation was initiated in September of 2014 and is open to enrollment.

First Quarter 2015 Financial Highlights and 2015 Guidance

Cash position: Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities as of March 31, 2015 were $359.8 million compared to $201.0 million as ofDecember 31, 2014. The increase was primarily driven by net proceeds to Celldex of $188.8 million from an underwritten financing; partially offset by our first quarter net cash burn of $30.0 million. As of March 31, 2015 Celldex had 98.5 million shares outstanding.

Revenues: Total revenue was $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $0.4 million for the comparable period in 2014. The increase in the first quarter of 2015 was primarily due to our clinical trial collaboration with BMS, partially offset by a decrease in revenue related to our Rockefeller University services agreement.

R&D Expenses: Research and development (R&D) expenses were $25.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $27.1 million for the comparable period in 2014. The decrease in Celldex’s R&D investment was primarily due to the one-time $2.5 milestone payment incurred in the first quarter of 2014 as a result of the METRIC initiation and a decrease in ACT IV clinical trial costs, partially offset by increases in glembatumumab vedotin and varlilumab clinical trial costs.

G&A Expenses: General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $6.1 million in the first quarter of 2015 compared to $4.6 million for the comparable period in 2014. The increase in G&A expenses was primarily attributable to higher personnel-related expenses and RINTEGA and glembatumumab vedotin commercial planning costs in 2015.

Net loss: Net loss was $30.2 million, or ($0.33) per share, for the first quarter of 2015 compared to a net loss of $29.9 million, or ($0.33) per share for the comparable period in 2014.

Financial guidance: Celldex expects that its cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities will be sufficient to fund our operating expenses and capital expenditure requirements through 2017, however, this could be impacted by our clinical data results from the RINTEGA program and their potential impact on our pace of commercial manufacturing and the rate of expansion of our commercial operations.

RINTEGA® is a registered trademark of Celldex Therapeutics. Opdivo® and Yervoy® are registered trademarks of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Mozobil® is a registered trademark of sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. (Original Source)

Shares of Celldex closed yesterday at $23.92 . CLDX has a 1-year high of $32.82 and a 1-year low of $10.76. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $28.20 and its 200-day moving average is $21.58.

On the ratings front, Celldex has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on April 6, Roth Capital analyst Joseph Pantginis initiated coverage with a Buy rating on CLDX and a price target of $43, which implies an upside of 79.8% from current levels. Separately, on March 11, Cowen’s Boris Peaker reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $33.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Joseph Pantginis and Boris Peaker have a total average return of 14.2% and 42.8% respectively. Pantginis has a success rate of 55.0% and is ranked #81 out of 3581 analysts, while Peaker has a success rate of 65.9% and is ranked #20.

The street is mostly Bullish on CLDX stock. Out of 4 analysts who cover the stock, 4 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $35.75, which implies an upside of 49.5% from current levels.

Celldex Therapeutics Inc is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the development, manufacturing and commercialization of immunotherapy technologies for the treatment of cancer and other difficult-to-treat diseases.