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The Immutep Ltd (ASX: IMM) The share price has turned green since the stock market opened on Friday.
Immutep’s shares are on the move as the company announced it had obtained a Chinese patent on one of its antibody molecules.
Let’s investigate further.
A little background to set the scene
Immutep said Chinese health officials granted the company a new patent on Friday. The company has obtained approval to develop its “LAG-3 immunotherapeutic products”.
In humans, the ‘lymphocyte activation gene-3’, also known as LAG-3, acts as an ‘immune checkpoint’ in our body’s internal highways. This means that it is important to regulate our immune system so that it only destroys the foreign and nasty cells inside of us. And not ours.
Immutep has developed a “therapeutic antagonist antibody” called IMP701 to target this LAG-3 molecule. He claims that IMP701 “removes the brakes” that prevent our immune system from “responding to and killing cancer cells.”
To achieve this result in humans, Immutep has partnered with the global health giant Novartis AG to further develop the IMP701 antibody.
Together, the couple created a compound called LAG525, a “humanized form” of IMP701 that is currently in three separate clinical trials.
What has Immutep announced?
As of today’s announcement, the patent is particularly “directed at” LAG525. This covers how the antibody is made and its application in the treatment of disease.
In fact, the patent was granted under the specific title of “LAG-3 Antibody Molecules and Their Uses” by the Chinese Patent Office, to demonstrate this point.
As such, the approval follows the “corresponding” Australian, American, European and Japanese patents which have already been granted on this molecule from 2018 to 2020.
Obtaining patent approval effectively protects the company’s compound and prevents others from making similar copies. Therefore, it stands to reason that Immutep has gained a certain competitive advantage with the granting of this patent.
Investors seem to think so too, pushing Immutep’s share price up about 5% from the market opened on Friday.
Immutep shares are now trading at 52 cents a coin, down from their intraday high of 54 cents each.
Immutep share price overview
Immutep’s share price recorded an annual gain of 27%. This extends the 171% gain from the previous 12 months.
Immutep stock has also climbed around 9% in the green over the past month. Additionally, last week Immutep’s share price rose 16%.
These results exceeded S & P / ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) by about 25% over the past year.