Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) just announced additional follow-up results from a subset of children with high-risk/relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Shares are indicated higher in response.

According to the release, the data showed durable anti-leukemic effects in patients treated with rivo-celTM (rivogenlecleucel, formerly BPX-501) following αβT-cell and B-cell depleted allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The data were reviewed in an oral presentation today at the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH 2018) by Principal Investigator Franco Locatelli, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Department of Hematology and Oncology and Cell/Gene Therapy at Ospedale Pediatrico Bambino Gesù in Rome, Italy.

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) bills itself as a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on discovering and developing novel cellular immunotherapies for the treatment of hematological cancers, solid tumors, and orphan inherited blood disorders in the United States and internationally.

The company’s clinical product candidates include BPX-501, an adjunct T cell therapy in multiple Phase I/II clinical trials, administered after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation; and BPX-601, a GoCAR-T product candidate in Phase I clinical trial for treating solid tumors expressing the prostate stem cell antigen.

Its clinical product candidates also comprise BPX-701, a T cell receptors (TCR) based therapy in Phase I clinical trial for the treatment of malignant cells expressing the preferentially-expressed antigen in melanoma; and CD19, a chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy for expressing B cell malignancies setting. It has collaboration agreements with Adaptimmune Therapeutics plc to evaluate, develop, and commercialize T cell therapies; and Academisch Ziekenhuis Leiden for research to discover and validate high-affinity TCR product candidates targeting various cancer-associated antigens.

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.


Chopping Wood

We started off by noting that BLCM just hit the wires with the announcement additional follow-up results from a subset of children with high-risk/relapsed acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

This announcement has popped the stock higher, which certainly isn’t surprising. BLCM shareholders are now sitting on about 9% in gains over the past week.

“Cancer recurrence is one of the primary factors affecting the success rate of allogeneic HSCT. Rivo-cel appears to lower the rate of cancer recurrence in children receiving αβT-cell and B-cell depleted allogeneic HSCT—suggesting that the diverse population of donor T cells in rivo-cel product may reduce or eliminate residual cancer cells,” said Dr. Locatelli. “Moreover, while you might expect to see Graft versus Host Disease with this approach, the overall rates were low and rimiducid was effective for most patients who developed visceral GvHD or who were refractory to standard of care treatment for GvHD. These encouraging data support the potential of rivo-cel as an important treatment for children with blood cancers who need a stem cell transplant and lack a matched donor.”

Bellicum Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:BLCM) generated sales of $292K, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of -19.3% on the top line. In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($112.7M against $14.4M).

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