A company I am really excited about with innovative technology, proven results and a genius (Dr. David M. Goldenberg) for a CEO: Immunomedics. If immunomedics continues to be as successful as they have been up until now, there will be a paradigm shift in nuclear medicine - both in diagnosis and treatment. In short Immunomedics uses monoclonal antibodies directed at granulocytes or CEA to image cancer or infection. They use technetium (or ytrium ?) labeled CEA to TREAT cancers (phase III trials in advanced ovarian CA had promising results including a 5 month complete remission which is unheard of in adv. ovarian CA). This technology is important because the antibody fragment labeling makes it more specific leading to better diagnosis, and because the antibody concentrates the isotope at the tumor site, the dose for treatment can be increased with less effect on normal tissues.
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Immunomedics (IMMU) is a company on the cutting edge of immunotherapy and antibody directed imaging using Tc-99m labeled monoclonal antibody fragments. For those of you who are not familiar with these terms, Tc-99m is the most widely used radioactive isotope used in nuclear medicine imaging (eg, bone scans use Tc-99m labeled MDP). Immunomedics makes a monoclonal (ie, very specific) antibody fragment which, when injected, attaches itself to whatever the antigen (the target) is. They have an antibody fragment which is directed towards CEA. CEA is a molecule found on many types of cancer cells including breast, ovarian, colon, liver, etc.
Immunomedics recently got FDA approval for Tc-99m labeled mAB to CEA for staging colorectal cancer (one of the top 5 types of cancer). Mallinckrodt will distribute "CEA Scan" for Immunomedics. Immunomedics predicts CEA scan alone will make them profitable within 18 months.
Immunomedics also makes monoclonal antibody fragments which target white blood cells (Leukoscan) and can be used to image infections like osteomyelitis (bone infections) and appendicitis. A recent study came out showing 87% specificity for detecting appendicitis. Any of you surgeons out there know that making a definitive diagnosis of appendicitis or being able to exclude it would help in making treatment decisions. Immunomedics' agent is superior to the current wbc scan - you don't have to wait 24 hours to make a diagnosis. ALso, (you didn't hear this here) it has been shown to be more sensitive and specific than standard WBC scans.
Further points: (Taken verbatim from Dow Jones News Retrieval) 1) Preclinical data presented by Dr. Griffiths of Immunomedics suggests that Y-90-hLL2 (another compound make by IMMU) may be a promising agent for the therapy of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (probably 50,000 cases a year) 2) Immunomedics said results of a phase I study suggest its MN-14, an anti-CEA monoclonal antibody, may be a potential agent for treating ovarian cancer (about 10,000 cases per year in US)
Immunomedics stock price can be expected to jump when the FDA approves Leukoscan - it will replace standard WBC scans which are less specific, less sensitive and require 24 hrs vs. Leukoscan's 2-3 hours.