Immutep shares make their walk northwards after a patent was granted on Friday.
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The Immutep Ltd (ASX: IMM) share price has stepped into the green from the opening of trade on Friday.
Immutep shares are on the move as the company announced it had been granted a Chinese patent on one of its antibody molecules.
Let’s investigate further.
A bit of background to set the scene
Immutep advised that Chinese health authorities had granted the company a new patent on Friday. The company was awarded the approval to develop its “LAG-3 immunotherapeutic products”.
In humans, the “lymphocyte activation gene-3”, also known as LAG-3, acts like an “immune checkpoint” in the internal highways of our body. That means it is important to regulate our immune system so that it only destroys the foreign and nasty cells inside of us. And not our own.
Immutep has developed a “therapeutic antagonist antibody” called IMP701 to target this LAG-3 molecule. It claims that IMP701 “removes the brakes” that prevent our immune system from “responding to and killing cancer cells”.
To achieve this result in humans, Immutep has teamed up with global healthcare giant Novartis AG to further develop the IMP701 antibody.
Together, the pair have created a compound called LAG525, a “humanised form” of IMP701 which is currently being investigated in three separate clinical trials.
What did Immutep announce?
From today’s announcement, the patent is particularly “directed to” LAG525. This covers how the antibody is made, and its application in treating illnesses.
In fact, the patent was granted under the specific heading of “Antibody molecules to LAG-3 and uses thereof” from the Chinese Patent Office, to demonstrate this point.
As such, the approval follows the “corresponding” Australian, US, European and Japanese patents that have been previously granted on this molecule from 2018 to 2020.
Obtaining patent approval effectively protects the company’s compound, and prevents others from making similar copies. Therefore, it stands to reason that Immutep has gained some competitive advantage with the grant of this patent.
Investors seem to think so too, driving the Immutep share price around 5% higher from the market open on Friday.
Immutep shares are now exchanging hands at 52 cents apiece, down from their intraday high of 54 cents each.
Immutep share price snapshot
The Immutep share price has posted a year to date gain of 27%. This extends the previous 12 month’s gain of 171%.
Immutep shares have also climbed around 9% in the green over the last month. Moreover, in the last week, the Immutep share price is up 16%.
These results have outpaced the S&P/ASX 200 index (ASX: XJO)’s return of about 25% over the past year.
Should you invest $1,000 in Immutep right now?
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The author Zach Bristow has no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.