Company Details

Immutep Limited (ASX: IMM)

ASX Listed
ASX Listed, Phase 2 Clinical trials, Pre Clinical Stage, Research and Development
Healthcare / Life Sciences / Medical Devices, Biotech, Pharmaceuticals
Development Partner, Fund Investment, General Investor Profiling, License Partners, Partnership, Raising Capital

Company Information

  • Executive Summary

    Executive Summary

    Immutep is a biotechnology company developing novel immunotherapy treatments for cancer and autoimmune disease, with operations in Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

    Immutep is the global leader in the understanding of and in the development of therapeutics that modulate Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3 (“LAG-3”), a cell surface molecule which plays a vital role in regulating T cell function. LAG-3 was discovered by Immutep’s Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer, Professor Frederic Triebel.

    Immutep has three clinical product candidates (eftilagimod alpha, IMP701 and IMP731) and one pre-clinical product candidate (IMP761) in development, and has partnerships with Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Inc. (MSD), Merck KGaA, Pfizer, EOC Pharma and Cytlimic. All four product candidates modulate the LAG-3 immune control mechanism.

    Immutep’s lead product candidate is eftilagimod alpha (“efti” or “IMP321”) which is in late-stage clinical development for the treatment of cancer.

    Immutep is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (IMM) and on the NASDAQ Global Market (IMMP) in the U.S. (ADR’s).

    Problem & Solution

    Encouragingly, the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of the negative immune regulation of CTLA-4 and PD-1 respectively, which we believe has raised public awareness of the significant emergence of immune checkpoint therapy.

    Whilst immune checkpoint therapy is increasingly being recognised as the standard of care treatment for many cancer indications, these immune checkpoint therapies such as Yervoy, Opdivo and Keytruda are only approximately 30% efficacious as monotherapy. As such, there remains a significant unmet medical need and there is a global race to improve the efficacy of these blockbuster medicines to address the 70% of patients who do not respond to monotherapy by finding the right combination therapy.

    The theory behind combining our lead product candidate, eftilagimod alpha (“efti” or “IMP321”), which is an immune activator with medicines such as Keytruda or Bavencio is to “turn cold tumours hot” and thus allow existing medicines to work more effectively. This theory is currently being tested in Immutep’s clinical trial collaborations with Merck & Co., Inc. (MSD), and with Merck KGaA and Pfizer.

    Encouragingly, we continue to see the pharmaceutical industry investing more and more into the LAG-3 space. At the beginning of 2019, there are 47 clinical trials of LAG-3 product candidates in progress, involving more than 11,000 patients. This is rapid progress compared to 2017 when there were 21 trials in progress involving around 5000 patients. We anticipate that this investment into the LAG-3 space will continue to accelerate, with more and more data expected to be reported in 2019.

    In this climate, we believe LAG-3 is one of the most promising immune checkpoints beyond the clinically proven PD-1 and CTLA-4 checkpoints.

    Market & Opportunity

    • The global leader in the development of LAG-3 therapeutics for immuno-oncology and autoimmune disease
    • Deep expertise and IP in the LAG-3 immune control mechanism
    • Broadest LAG-3 portfolio with four product candidates, three of which are in eleven ongoing or planned clinical trials
    • Unique company and portfolio of product candidates positioned in the large healthcare segments of cancer and autoimmune disease
    • Multiple industry partnerships including with five major pharma companies: Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck & Co., Inc. (MSD), Merck KGaA and Pfizer
    • Expecting rich news flow in 2019 including clinical data, regulatory updates, and business development

    Investment Offering/Opportunity

    Immutep’s current lead product is eftilagimod alpha (“efti” or “IMP321”), a soluble LAG-3Ig fusion protein which is a first-in-class antigen presenting cell (APC) activator. Immutep retains global rights to efti, with the exception of Greater China where rights have been exclusively licensed to EOC Pharma, an affiliate of Eddingpharm.

    Efti is currently in the following clinical trials:

    (i) a Phase IIb clinical trial as a chemoimmunotherapy for metastatic breast cancer termed AIPAC (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02614833);

    (ii) a Phase II clinical trial referred to as TACTI-002 to evaluate a combination of efti with KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in several different solid tumours (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT03625323) being conducted in collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. (MSD);

    (iii) a planned Phase I clinical trial referred to as INSIGHT-004 to evaluate a combination of efti with BAVENCIO® (avelumab) (clinical trials.gov identifier NCT03252938) which will be conducted in collaboration with Merck KgaA and Pfizer;

    (iv) a Phase I trial evaluating a combination of efti and KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in metastatic melanoma termed TACTI-mel (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02676869); and

    (v) a Phase I clinical as a chemoimmunotherapy for metastatic breast cancer being conducted in China by EOC Pharma (clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT03600090).

    Immutep also has two fully partnered programs:

    IMP731 (GSK2831781) – a first-in-class “depleting” anti-LAG-3 antibody partnered with GSK, which completed a Phase I trial in psoriasis in March 2018, with plans to conduct future studies in ulcerative colitis; and

    IMP701 (LAG525) – a blocking anti-LAG-3 antibody partnered with Novartis, which has 5 active or planned clinical trials in various cancer indications and aims to recruit more than 1100 patients.

    Immutep is also developing the world’s first known agonist antibody of LAG-3 (IMP761) for the treatment of autoimmune disease. Immutep currently retains global rights to IMP761.

    Immutep is the global leader in the emerging LAG-3 immune checkpoint field with more LAG-3 product candidates in clinical development, including our partnered programs, than any other company.

    Immutep’s lead product candidate, efti, is in late-stage clinical development and, as a pioneer in the field, the Company has deep expertise in the biology of the LAG-3 immune control mechanism. The Company also has significant expertise in clinical development and strong links with the biotech, pharma, academic and investment communities.

    In addition, Immutep’s pre-clinical asset, IMP761, is the first known agonist antibody of LAG-3 and is unique as it targets the underlying cause of autoimmune disease, rather than treating the symptoms of the disease.

    Current Shareholders/Investors

    In March 2018, both Platinum Asset Management & Australian Ethical Investment participated in a placement of our shares, along with US specialist fund investor, Ridgeback Capital who also invested in 2015.

    In December 2018, US specialist healthcare investors, Altium Capital and Leviathan Capital Partners, participated in a placement of our shares.

    Use of Funds

    To fund the Company’s planned and ongoing clinical trial program for efti and pre-clinical development of IMP761.

    Parent Company: Immutep Limited

    Subsidiaries:

    • Immutep USA Inc – 100% ownership
    • PRR Middle East FZLLC – 100% ownership
    • Immutep GmbH – 100% ownership
    • Immutep Australia Pty Ltd – 100% ownership
    • Immutep I[ Pty Ltd – 100% ownership
    • Immutep S.A.S. – 100% ownership
  • Company Highlights

    Company Highlights

    Immutep is now collaborating with five major pharma companies: Novartis, GSK, Merck & Co (MSD), Merck (Germany) and Pfizer. We are partnered with four of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies, conferring strong validation of our technology, product candidates and R&D competencies.

    Our 2018 business development achievements are best illustrated by comparing our current pipeline chart to that of the end of 2017. During 2018, we added partnerships with Merck (US), Pfizer and Merck KGaA (Germany). Most recently, in early January 2019, we added CYTLIMIC. The collaboration marks the third type of therapy that efti is being evaluated in, adding to the chemo-immunotherapy and immuno-oncology combinations already being evaluated by Immutep, demonstrating efti’s broad therapeutic potential.

    We receive revenues via milestone payments from our licensing partners: Cytlimic, EOC, GSK, Novartis

    • TACTI-mel Clinical Study – Phase I
    • AIPAC Clinical Study – Phase IIb
    • TACTI-002 Clinical Study – Phase II
    • INSIGHT-004 – Phase I
    • Pre-clinical development of IMP761
    • Patents granted

    The Immutep team is very encouraged by the clinical data reported in 2018. The scene is set for a very data heavy 2019 that will support our business development efforts, also a key area for 2019. We look forward to reporting final or interim read-outs of all our studies in 2019

  • Board & Management

    Board & Management

    Dr Russell Howard

    Dr Russell Howard

    Non-Executive Chairman, PhD
    Dr. Russell Howard is an Australian scientist, executive manager and entrepreneur. He was a pioneer in molecular parasitology and commercialization of “DNA Shuffling”. He is an inventor of 9 patents and has over 150 scientific...

    Dr. Russell Howard is an Australian scientist, executive manager and entrepreneur. He was a pioneer in molecular parasitology and commercialization of “DNA Shuffling”. He is an inventor of 9 patents and has over 150 scientific publications. After his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Melbourne, he held positions at several research laboratories, including the National Institutes of Health in the USA where he gained tenure.

    In industry, Dr. Howard worked at Schering-Plough’s DNAX Research Institute in Palo Alto, CA; was the President and Scientific Director of Affymax, Inc. and co-founder and CEO of Maxygen, Inc. After its spin-out from GlaxoWellcome, as Maxygen’s CEO, Dr. Howard led its IPO on NASDAQ and a secondary offering, raising US$ 260 million. Maxygen developed and partnered dozens of technology applications and products over 12 years of his tenure as CEO. After leaving Maxygen in 2008, he started the Cleantech company Oakbio, Inc. And remains involved in several innovative companies in the USA and Australia. He is currently Executive Chairman of NeuClone Pty Ltd.

    Pete Meyers

    Pete Meyers

    Non-Executive Director and Deputy Chairman, BS, MBA
    Pete Meyers is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGRX).  From May 2016 to January 2017, Mr. Meyers served as the Chief Financial Officer of Motif BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: MTFB; AIM:...

    Pete Meyers is currently the Chief Financial Officer of Eagle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EGRX).  From May 2016 to January 2017, Mr. Meyers served as the Chief Financial Officer of Motif BioSciences Inc. (NASDAQ: MTFB; AIM: MTFB), where he led the execution of the company’s November 2016 US IPO.  From August 2013 to March 2016, Mr. Meyers served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: TLOG), where he led the execution of the company’s December 2013 IPO and subsequent acquisition of Shape Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

    Prior to his role at TetraLogic, Mr. Meyers spent 18 years in health care investment banking, holding positions of increasing responsibility at Dillon, Read &Co., Credit Suisse First Boston LLC and, most recently, as Co-Head of Global Health Care Investment Banking at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. Mr. Meyers is the Chairman and President of The Thomas M. Brennan Memorial Foundation, Inc.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration degree from Columbia Business School.

    Marc Voigt

    Marc Voigt

    Executive Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO), MBA
    Marc has more than 18 years of experience in the financial and biotech industry, having joined the Immutep team in 2011 as the General Manager, European Operations based in Berlin, Germany. In May 2012, he...

    Marc has more than 18 years of experience in the financial and biotech industry, having joined the Immutep team in 2011 as the General Manager, European Operations based in Berlin, Germany. In May 2012, he became Immutep ’s Chief Business Officer and in November 2012 its Chief Financial Officer, as well as continuing to focus on its European operations. Having started his career at the Allianz Group working in pension insurances and funds, he moved to net.IPO AG, a publicly-listed boutique investment bank in Frankfurt where he was focused on IPOs and venture capital investments.

    Marc then worked for a number of years as an investment manager for a midsize venture capital fund based in Berlin, specializing in healthcare. He also gained considerable operational experience while serving in different management roles with Revotar Biopharmaceuticals, Caprotec Bioanalytics and Medical Enzymes AG respectfully, where he handled several successful licensing transactions and financing rounds.

    Grant Chamberlain

    Grant Chamberlain

    Non-Executive Director, LLB (Hons), BCom
    Mr Chamberlain is a principal of One Ventures, one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms. He has over 20 years’ experience in investment banking and has advised on many of the largest mergers and acquisitions...

    Mr Chamberlain is a principal of One Ventures, one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms. He has over 20 years’ experience in investment banking and has advised on many of the largest mergers and acquisitions transactions in Australia during that time.

    Mr Chamberlain was Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and Financial Sponsors Australia at Bank of America Merrill Lynch until June 2017 and prior to joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2013, Mr Chamberlain held senior positions at Nomura Australia and Deutsche Bank. He began his career as a corporate lawyer at Freehill Hollingdale & Page. Mr Chamberlain earned a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.

    Deanne Miller

    Deanne Miller

    Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel & Company Secretary
    Ms Miller has broad commercial experience having held legal, investment banking, regulatory compliance and tax advisory positions, including, Legal Counsel at RBC Investor Services, Associate Director at Westpac Group, Legal & Compliance Manager at Macquarie...

    Ms Miller has broad commercial experience having held legal, investment banking, regulatory compliance and tax advisory positions, including, Legal Counsel at RBC Investor Services, Associate Director at Westpac Group, Legal & Compliance Manager at Macquarie Group, Regulatory Compliance Analyst at the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, and Tax Advisor at KPMG.

    She joined Immutep as General Counsel and Company Secretary in October 2012 and was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer in November 2016. She has a Combined Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance (double major) from the University of Sydney. She is admitted as a solicitor in NSW and member of the Law Society of NSW.

    Dr Frédéric Triebel

    Dr Frédéric Triebel

    Chief Scientific Officer & Chief Medical Officer
    Frédéric Triebel, MD Ph.D., was the scientific founder of Immutep S.A. (2001) and served as the Scientific and Medical Director at Immutep from 2004. Before starting Immutep, he was Professor in Immunology at Paris University....

    Frédéric Triebel, MD Ph.D., was the scientific founder of Immutep S.A. (2001) and served as the Scientific and Medical Director at Immutep from 2004. Before starting Immutep, he was Professor in Immunology at Paris University. While working at Institut Gustave Roussy (IGR), a large cancer centre in Paris, he discovered the LAG-3 gene in 1990 and continued working on this research program since then, identifying the functions and medical usefulness of this molecule. He headed a research group at IGR while also being involved in the biological follow-up of cancer patients treated in Phase I/II immunotherapy trials. He was Director of an INSERM Unit from 1991 to 1996.

    First trained as a clinical haematologist, Prof. Triebel holds a Ph.D. in immunology (Paris University) and successfully developed several research programs in immunogenetics and immunotherapy, leading to 144 publications and 16 patents.

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  • Contact Details

    Contact Details