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Last month we discussed the fact that Immunocellular Therapeutics could be a company that is priming itself to usher in the next generation of cancer immunotherapeutic treatments, with Dendreon (DNDN) being the obvious leader of the "now" generation.

The reason behind this claim is centered on the company's next-level cancer immunotherapeutic technology which is currently being tested in clinical trials. Today's model of cancer immunotherapy has treatments training one's immune system to combat a patient's cancerous cells, but IMUC takes this philosophy a step further by targeting the stem cells that eventually lead to the growth and spreading of a cancer.

This strategy was put to the test in a Phase I trial for glioblastoma (GBM), a very agressive form of brain cancer,where 100% of the 16 patients administered Immunocellular's ICT-107 were still alive after one year, and 80% after two.

Those results were encouraging enough to warrant a quick transition to a Phase II trial, which started earlier this year. Full enrollment of the trial is expected to be reached early in 2012, with full results due out the following year.

Originally planned for just 15 sites, the company announced last month that more than 20 sites will become available for enrollment in this trial.

In another bit of encouraging news, Immunocellular went back and took a look a longer term, follow-up look at the Phase I results. In that review, the company announced that:

"The data show 6 out of 16 (37.6%) newly diagnosed patients who received ICT-107 continue to show no tumor recurrence, with 3 of these patients (18.8%) remaining disease –free for almost four years while the other 3 patients have gone more than two and a half years disease-free. No new patients have shown disease recurrence since the last report of data in September, 2010. No treatment-related serious adverse events have been observed to date."

It's still far too early in the development of ICT-107 and Immunocellular's technology to predict a success, but it's understandable why the company is excited about its future prospects with the data that has been reviewed thus far, in addition to the positive press that has accompanied those results.

In turn, the IMUC share price turned into a fifty-two week triple, although it has slipped back towards the $2 mark recently.

By combining the benefits of cancer immunotherapy with a taste of stem-cell technology, it could be argued that this company is straddling two very popular biotech sectors right now. Add to that the move experienced by Dendreon (DNDN) when Provenge became a late-stage success, and the potential of Immunocellular Therapeutics cannot be ignored.

With the long term catalyst being the success of the ongoing trials, there are still some short term catalysts to pay attention to as well.

It's been indicated before that a move to the Amex, or another big board, is in the works. A move from the OTC would add another layer of credibility to the company, as many investors - especially institutional ones - tend to shy away from anything not listed on a major exchange.

The further development of the pipeline, of which most potential products are still in the pre-clinical stages, is also something to keep an eye on. As the pipeline progresses and key patents are awarded, the forward-looking potential of this company should continue to grow.

With Dendreon leading the way in the sector right now, it's a good time to take a look at the companies who are looking to fuel the next generation of cancer immunotherapies.

Immunocellular Therapeutics has a chance to usher in that generation.

Disclosure: Long IMUC.

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