Cel-Sci Corp (CVM) has put some bad news in the rear view mirror.
An announcement on Tuesday informed the public that the company has paid off the full outstanding convertible debenture, having paid it down $1 million per month. The debenture was the result of settled litigation and frees up Cel-Sci to concentrate additional resources towards what's most important - the ongoing, world wide Phase III Multikine trial, said to be the largest ever conducted for head and neck cancer.
Geert Kersten, CEO of Cel-Sci noted in Tuesday's press release that, “We are pleased that we have eliminated this substantial obligation and the associated potential dilution. Our money is now being allocated to the greatest benefit of our shareholders, namely an expansion of our Phase III study by adding 10-15 additional clinical sites in four more countries.”
The note of the trial expansion could be pretty significant since it could reduce the overall time needed to complete the trial, which would, in turn, bring Multikine before various regulatory panels ahead of the currently-expected pace.
There has been no specific feedback from the company regarding enrollment numbers, only statements that the trial is "progressing," so investors need to take that for what it's worth, but the company does have Teva and Orient Europharma currently conducting their portions of the clinical trial in Israel and Taiwan, respectively.
Investors will continue to carry financing concerns with regards to Cel-Sci, but the stock has already moved once this year and once again gain the attention of the speculative investment community.
Should Multikine make it through Phase III, it could be a blockbuster, but as is the norm with the cancer immunotherapy sector, skepticism abounds.
That said, investors are increasingly willing to throw some speculative money towards the earlier-stage products in the sector, even in spite of Dendreon's (DNDN) woes with Provenge. Shares of Immunocellular Thereapeutics (IMUC.OB), for example, have stormed through three dollars recently while Celldex Therapeutics (CLDX) saw five for a short time.
Even Agenus, Inc. (AGEN) is making noise again, given the company's high profile partnership with Britain' GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) for the vaccine adjuvant QS-21 Stimulon.
With the lawsuit settlement now behind Cel-Sci, it's again time to concentrate on the future.
Keep an eye out for any trial updates, Multikine is the key to an investment in CVM.
Disclosure: Long CVM.