Altimmune (NASDAQ: ALT) Plans To Engage Strategic Partners To Facilitate The Development Of NasoVAX


Late last year, Altimmune (NASDAQ: ALT) provided an update on its immunotherapeutic pipeline where it reported positive progress for the two main drug candidates. In the update, the company revealed that the Phase 2 study for NasoVAX was successful and that the data was positive. Interestingly, the company sought to extend the Phase 2 study for the product and will present the data during this month’s World Vaccine Congress in Washington.

NasoVAX shows greater potential to be more effective and convenient than existing drugs

According to the statement from the company, data from previous stages of Phase 2 study show that NasoVAX exhibits 100% seroprotection. Also, the product is highly immunogenic and subjects tolerated it well. As per the company, another extended Phase 2 study showed that the drug candidate had the capacity to seroprotect the subjects for more than one year since last vaccination. Also, data from the study established that the drug is able to maintain a constant seroconversion rate for a similar period.

Interestingly, the current influenza vaccines do not have responses which can last for one year. Therefore, this implies that NasoVAX is on the next level in terms of immune response. Further, it is also clear that the vaccine is ideal for long flu seasons.

NasoVAX administration is needle-free and one can easily administer through the intranasal channel. Given the safety profile and duration of effectiveness, there is a huge potential for commercialization. In this light, the President and CEO of Altimmune, Vipin K. Garg, Ph.D., said that the company is actively looking for strategic partners who can facilitate the rest of the stages to monetization of the product.

HepTcell trials set to proceed to Phase 2

While NasoVAX is progressing past Phase 2, Altimmune is working on another drug candidate whose Phase 1 results the firm said would come out in mid-April. Notably, the clinical trials for Phase 1 study of HepTcell were complete in the early weeks of this year. The company said that it would make the results of the trials during The International Liver Congress which would go live in Vienna, Austria and running from 10th to 14 of April.

According to preliminary results released earlier, HepTcell successfully achieved the endpoint of safety. Further, the study established that a HepTcell treatment resulted in a higher concentration of cellular immune responses which are HBV-specific.

For starters, Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a serious disease which has over 2 billion victims worldwide. Although the majority of the patients naturally heal from the infection, over 257 million of the 2 billion victims suffer chronic liver cirrhosis as a result of the HBV infection. As such, the disease is among the most lethal infections that lead to death via liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and complete liver failure.

Altimmune has four drug candidates in its pipeline

Besides NasoVAX and HepTcell, Altimmune is actively developing other drug candidates which include ALT-702 and NasoShield. ALT-702 is an immunostimulant that targets a variety of cancerous cells. The drug candidate can potentially improve immune responses and can reverse immune-suppressive effects that arise in the microenvironment of certain tumors.  On the other hand, NasoShield provides stable and rapid protection against anthrax.

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