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Stellar Biotechnologies’ Partner Neovacs’s Favorable Study Data

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Jul. 5 2018, Published 3:17 p.m. ET

Stellar Biotechnologies’ stock activity

Today, Stellar Biotechnologies’ stock was up ~10.5% in premarket trading as the company issued a statement on positive study results published by its partner Neovacs. Neovacs posted favorable Phase 2b study data for IFNalpha Kinoid in patients with moderate to severe lupus or SLE (systemic lupus erythematosus), an autoimmune disease in which healthy tissues come under attack by the immune system.

Stellar Biotechnologies provides Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin (KLH) to Neovacs. It’s a key component in Neovacs’ kinoid product candidates and other KLH-based immunotherapies.

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In 2016, Stellar Biotechnologies and Neovacs, a French biotechnology firm, formed a joint venture, Neostell, for the production of Neovacs’ kinoids, mainly IFNα-Kinoid. The production was to start as soon as the company got positive study results for its Phase 2b study for the assessment of IFNα-Kinoid in lupus.

Management weighs in

Stellar’s chairman, president, and CEO , Frank R. Oakes, said, “We would like to extend our congratulations to Neovacs on the encouraging results achieved in its Phase 2b study and on the continuing advancement of their IFN-Alpha-Kinoid immunotherapy in systemic lupus erythematosus, which the Lupus Foundation has described as ‘one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases.’ In addition to achieving key endpoints, Neovacs reported potent and long-lasting biological activity of their therapeutic vaccine, which utilizes Stellar KLH as a carrier molecule. The KLH-conjugated vaccine also demonstrated a favorable safety profile among study participants. The conclusion of this study is an important milestone for Neovacs as well as for Stellar. We believe these results will help to reinforce the role of Stellar KLH as a key component in immunotherapy treatments.”

He further said that Stellar Biotechnologies would ensure sufficient KLH production for the Phase 3 trials of Neovacs’ IFNalpha Kinoid.

Competition

Neovacs’s therapeutic vaccines covered by Kinoids have patent protection until 2032 and are expected to gain market share from companies like GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and AstraZeneca (AZN), which offer lupus treatment through monoclonal antibodies. The Kinoids treatment is expected to be cheaper.

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