Shares of CEL-SCI Corporation (AMEX: CVM) jumped more than 24 percent in morning trading Monday after the company announced plans to move forward with two highly-anticipated drug trials.
In addition to recent FDA approval to go ahead with clinical trials of CEL-SCI’s novel LEAPS-H1N1 flu medication, the company has also raised the capital necessary to go forward with Phase III clinical trials of its flagship cancer treatment, Multikine, which analysts believe could become a standard of care for cancer treatment.
The company announced last week that a definitive agreement had been reached to raise nearly $20 million, which was expected to close on or before Monday.
The agreement states that CEL-SCI will sell 14,285,715 shares of common stock at a price of $1.40 per share for a gross profit of approximately $19 million. Additionally, investors will also receive warrants to purchase 4.7 million shares of CEL-SCI’s common stock at $1.50 per share that can be exercised any time after the transaction closing within a two-year time period.
CEL-SCI will use the funds to move forward with human clinical trials for LEAPS-H1N1 flu treatment, a drug designed to treat the white-blood cells of already-infected patients. The FDA’s approval of trials for CEL-SCI’s H1N1 flu treatment has pushed CEL-SCI shares to some of the most heavily traded in the biotech market.
“Everybody’s focus is on vaccines and they’re having all kinds of problems with the vaccines, but there has to be someone working to help these patients who have a high likelihood of death,” said CEL-SCI’s CEO Geert Kersten. “That’s how we got to that. With LEAPS, we can control in advance and determine, almost by design, how the immune system will process the epitope and therefore we know what kind of immune response we will get — whether cellular or humoral. By doing that, you can — we feel — have significant impact on these people’s chances of survival.”
CEL-SCI is also expected to start long-awaited and highly-anticipated Phase III trials of Multikine, the company’s advanced head and neck cancer treatment. The first of its kind, Multikine is a multi-targeted approach cancer immunotherapy that specifically targets and kills cancer cells, and activates the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells. Multikine is a cancer immunotherapy that incorporates both active and passive immune activity.
CEL-SCI Corp. is based in Vienna, Virginia and develops novel immune-based therapies that utilize the body’s own immune defense system to fight disease. These therapies are effective and non-toxic to the body’s normal cells and organ systems, unlike traditional cancer therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, which are most often highly toxic or damaging.