By Chris Wack

 

HCW Biologics Inc. shares doubled to $6.43 Thursday after the company said it was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to proceed to evaluate its lead drug candidate, HCW9218, in a first-in-human Phase 1b clinical trial in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Volume for the stock was 124 million shares at 12:45 p.m. ET, compared with 65-day average volume of 153,000 shares. The stock hit its 52-week low of $2.36 on Oct. 22. HCW has a public float of 12.4 million shares.

The biopharmaceutical company said its HCW9218 is an injectable, fusion protein complex designed to drive bifunctional, anti-tumor activity by activating desired immune responses to attack cancer cells while simultaneously blocking unwanted immunosuppressive activities.

HCW said that preclinical studies showed that HCW9218 enhanced the anti-tumor efficacy of chemotherapy docetaxel and gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel against melanoma and pancreatic cancer, respectively, and simultaneously alleviated the off-target, unwanted effects of chemotherapies on normal tissues.

In experimental animal models, HCW9218 was also shown to augment anti-tumor activities of therapeutic and checkpoint antibodies, which are currently standard-of-care anti-cancer treatment for certain solid tumors, the company said.

 

Write to Chris Wack at chris.wack@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 28, 2021 13:07 ET (17:07 GMT)

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