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Co.'s New Cell Therapy Shows Positive Effects

Source: Emily Bodnar

 

April 20, 2023 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Disease response and survival rates are impressive in updated results from several studies, noted an H.C. Wainwright & Co. report.


Refreshed data from several trials of BriaCell Therapeutics Corp.'s (BCT:TSX.V) Bria-IMT in metastatic breast cancer "continue to demonstrate positive efficacy and survival," reported H.C. Wainwright & Co. analyst Emily Bodnar in an April 17 research note. Bria-IMT is a genetically engineered human breast cancer cell line with features of immune cells.

The Canadian immunotherapy firm remains Buy rated. H.C. Wainwright's target price on BriaCell is US$25 per share, and its stock is trading at about US$7.20 per share.

Data From Three Studies

The updated data BriaCell recently announced are from three trials, all in patients with metastatic breast cancer. One was the ongoing Phase 1/2 trial evaluating combination treatment with Bria-IMT plus retifanlimab. The others were previous trials, one assessing Bria-IMT plus pembrolizumab and the other testing Bria-IMT as a monotherapy.

In all three trials, the disease was severe, and patients had been heavily pretreated, with a median of five prior lines of therapy. In the monotherapy studies, 54% of patients were HR-positive and HER2-negative (HR+/HER2-); in the combination studies, 70% were.

Bodnar presented the key takeaways from the updated data.

Response Rates on Par

Updated trial data show the response rate in both Bria-IMT combination treatment trials to be comparable to that of fulvestrant even though patients in the Bria-IMT studies were more heavily pretreated than those in the CONFIRM Phase 3 trial of fulvestrant (Faslodex) in recurrent or metastatic breast cancer.

In the monotherapy study, the disease control rate (DCR) was 44%, and the overall response rate (ORR) was 0%. In the combination trials, the DCR was 40%, and the ORR was 10%.

"While 10% ORR does not appear to be high, patients with metastatic breast cancer do not typically have high responses," Bodnar explained.

The ORR was 9.1% with fulvestrant in second-line HR+/HER2- breast cancer patients in CONFIRM.

Survival Data Impressive

In the updated data, the progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates "continue to impress and look favorable to standard of care," Bodnar pointed out.

The expected progression-free survival for these patients is generally less than two months, noted Bodnar. PFS in the mono and combination Bria-IMT studies exceeded that.

Specifically, with monotherapy, the median PFS was 2.6 months, and modified PFS, in patients with assessable disease outcomes, was 2.8 months days.

With combination therapy, the median PFS was 2.7 months, and the modified PFS was three months.

In comparison, the PFS was 2.79 months for second-line HR+/HER2- breast cancer patients on recently approved Orserdu (elacestrant). It was 1.91 months for ER+/HER2- advanced breast cancer patients on the physician's choice of treatment in the EMERALD trial of elacestrant versus standard of care.

Bodnar summed up the PFS comparisons: "Bria-IMT's PFS is potentially consistent or superior to Orserdu, despite more severe patients enrolled, and PFS is potentially improved from expected PFS with standard of care therapies such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy."

Also, study data showed a correlation between PFS and delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH). Median PFS for patients positive for DTH was 96 days, and for DTH-negative patients, was less, 71 days.

As for OS, out of the 18 patients enrolled post-2022, four survived past 12 months, and 15, or 83%, are still alive. These patients were treated in the ongoing Phase 1/2 study of Bria-IMT plus retifanlimab.

Of the 25 patients treated before and after 2022, seven survived past 12 months, and 15, or 60%, are still alive. Pre-2022 patients were treated in a previous combination study of Bria-IMT with either pembrolizumab or retifanlimab.

In comparison, the expected OS for chemotherapy in second-line patients with metastatic breast cancer is 6.7 to 9.8 months but less than six months in patients who failed a median of five prior lines of treatment.

What's Happening Now?

BriaCell is still enrolling patients in the Phase 1/2 combination study of Bria-IMT plus retifanlimab.

Also, the company is seeking a partner, specifically a large pharma, and is in discussions with several, with which to evaluate Bria-IMT in combination with a PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor, in a pivotal trial, Bodnar reported. H.C. Wainwright expects the study will evaluate Bria-IMT plus the selected inhibitor against physicians' choice of chemotherapy in about 200 late-line metastatic breast cancer patients.

"We expect the company to finalize an agreement and initiate study launch prep around mid-2023," added Bodnar.

Q2 FY23 Financial Results

Bodnar reported BriaCell's results of Q2 in the fiscal year 2023 (FY23). The company posted a net loss of US$4.5 million ($4.5M) and earnings per share of (US$0.77). It ended the quarter with US$33.5M in cash and cash equivalents, enough, Bodnar indicated, to fund operations into 2024.

After the release of the Q2 financials, H.C. Wainwright updated its model on BriaCell. Given it has one trial in progress and may initiate another one, boosting expenses, H.C. Wainwright forecasts the immunotherapy company's operating loss for the entire FY23 to be US$22.3M and its EPS to be (US$1.62).

Disclosures:

1) Doresa Banning wrote this article for Streetwise Reports LLC and provides services to Streetwise Reports as an independent contractor. She or members of her household own securities of the following companies mentioned in the article: None. She or members of her household are paid by the following companies mentioned in this article: None.

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3) Comments and opinions expressed are those of the specific experts and not of Streetwise Reports or its officers. The information provided above is for informational purposes only and is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security.

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Disclosures For H.C. Wainwright & Co., BriaCell Therapeutics Corp., April 17, 2023

H.C. Wainwright & Co, LLC (the "Firm") is a member of FINRA and SIPC and a registered U.S. Broker-Dealer.

I, Emily Bodnar , certify that 1) all of the views expressed in this report accurately reflect my personal views about any and all subject securities or issuers discussed; and 2) no part of my compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendation or views expressed in this research report; and 3) neither myself nor any members of my household is an officer, director or advisory board member of these companies. None of the research analysts or the research analyst's household has a financial interest in the securities of BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. (including, without limitation, any option, right, warrant, future, long or short position).

As of March 31, 2023 neither the Firm nor its affiliates beneficially own 1% or more of any class of common equity securities of BriaCell Therapeutics Corp.. Neither the research analyst nor the Firm knows or has reason to know of any other material conflict of interest at the time of publication of this research report.

The research analyst principally responsible for preparation of the report does not receive compensation that is based upon any specific investment banking services or transaction but is compensated based on factors including total revenue and profitability of the Firm, a substantial portion of which is derived from investment banking services. The firm or its affiliates received compensation from BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. for non-investment banking services in the previous 12 months. The Firm or its affiliates did not receive compensation from BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. for investment banking services within twelve months before, but will seek compensation from the companies mentioned in this report for investment banking services within three months following publication of the research report. The Firm does not make a market in BriaCell Therapeutics Corp. as of the date of this research report. The securities of the company discussed in this report may be unsuitable for investors depending on their specific investment objectives and financial position. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. This report is offered for informational purposes only, and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities discussed herein in any jurisdiction where such would be prohibited. This research report is not intended to provide tax advice or to be used to provide tax advice to any person. Electronic versions of H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC research reports are made available to all clients simultaneously. No part of this report may be reproduced in any form without the expressed permission of H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC.

Additional information available upon request. H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC does not provide individually tailored investment advice in research reports. This research report is not intended to provide personal investment advice and it does not take into account the specific investment objectives, financial situation and the particular needs of any specific person. Investors should seek financial advice regarding the appropriateness of investing in financial instruments and implementing investment strategies discussed or recommended in this research report. H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC's and its affiliates' salespeople, traders, and other professionals may provide oral or written market commentary or trading strategies that reflect opinions that are contrary to the opinions expressed in this research report. H.C. Wainwright & Co., LLC and its affiliates, officers, directors, and employees, excluding its analysts, will from time to time have long or short positions in, act as principal in, and buy or sell, the securities or derivatives (including options and warrants) thereof of covered companies referred to in this research report.

The information contained herein is based on sources which we believe to be reliable but is not guaranteed by us as being accurate and does not purport to be a complete statement or summary of the available data on the company, industry or security discussed in the report.

All opinions and estimates included in this report constitute the analyst's judgment as of the date of this report and are subject to change without notice. Securities and other financial instruments discussed in this research report: may lose value; are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

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