ImmunoCellular Therapeutics halts brain cancer cell therapy trial due to lack of cash

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/mokee81
iStock/mokee81

Related tags: Immune system

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd has halted a Phase III trial of its brain cancer cell therapy ICT-107 due to a lack of funds and is looking for a buyer or partner for the programme.

The Los Angeles, US-based biotech announced the move on June 21, explaining it is “unable at this time to secure sufficient additional financial resources to complete the phase III registration trial of ICT-107​.”

ImmunoCellular said it is looking for a partner or buyer for the programme adding that “the suspension of the phase III registration trial of ICT-107 is expected to reduce the amount of cash used in the Company’s operations​.”

ICT-107 is a dendritic cell (DC) vaccine designed to activate a patient’s immune system to target six different antigens associated with glioblastoma multiforme, a form of brain cancer. 

The Phase III trial​ is being conducted at sites in the US, Austria and Canada.

The halt comes weeks after ImmunoCellular Therapeutics signalled​ its intention to raise funds to allow it to continue the study.

R&D costs

According to a first quarter filing​, ImmunoCellular Therapeutics has cash reserves of $5.3m (€4.68m), which is just under half of what it had in reserve this time last year.

The document also revealed the firm spent $5.4m in the quarter, the majority of which was used for R&D.

Supplies of ICT-107 for the trial were produced by Netherlands-based contractor PharmaCell, under an agreement announced in 2015​, and Caladrius subsidiary PCT under an deal signed the same year.

Financial details of the contracts have not been disclosed, although ImmunoCellular Therapeutics does state in its Q1 filing that it is paying PharmaCell for "manufacturing services."

Similarly, while ImmunoCellular Therapeutics does not provide specifics about its deal with PCT, it does is say the contractor is providing manufacturing services for the Phase III ICT-107 trial and for a Phase I study of ICT-121, a second cell therapy candidate.

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics is also paying PCT monthly fees for the use of a controlled environment room and personnel performing the services.

PharmaCell was acquired by Swiss life sciences supplier Lonza last week​.

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