E Bellicum Is Worth A Look With Multiple Catalysts On The Way In 2nd Half Of 2019

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Bellicum Pharmaceuticals (BLCM) has many catalysts that are approaching in the 2nd half of 2019. It is a biotech that is built on using GoCAR-T technology as immunotherapy to treat patients with many different types of cancer. It also has rivo-cel which uses allogeneic polyclonal T-cells to improve outcomes in {C}Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation{C} ((HSCT)). Both of these aspects of the pipeline makes a strong case for the biotech. It is even taking it one step further by combining its CaspaCIDe switch and rimiducid switch to improve both safety and efficacy of its CAR-T therapies. This is known as the dual-switch GoCAR-T product. With a diverse array of immunotherapy products, multiple catalysts on the way in the 2nd half of 2019 and a currently completed cash raise I believe that there is massive upside potential that could take shape. That's why I believe it is a buy. 

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Rivo-cel is being used to treat pediatric patients with malignant or non-malignant blood disorders. That is these patients suffer from a range of blood disorders like: Leukemia, lymphoma, and other genetic blood disorders. Rivo-cel is a T-cell therapy that uses the biotech's CaspaCIDe safety switch to improve the outcome of a stem-cell transplant. Such transplants are known as Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation ((HSCT)). This involves the use of transplanting hematopoietic stem cells. The stem cells can normally be derived from bone marrow, peripheral blood, or umbilical cord blood. They can be autologous, allogeneic or syngeneic. Autologous means the patient's very own donor cells are used, while allogeneic means from a donor who is genetically similar but not an exact match. These pediatric patients with blood cancer take stem-cell transplants in hopes of curing their blood disorder. Such allogeneic transplants used now as standard of care ((SOC)) are good but have several drawbacks. Rivo-cel is intended to improve the outcome of an HSCT being done. This means faster recovery with immune cells in a person's body, lower rate of infection taking place and lower disease relapse-rates. Rimiducid is the switch of the CaspaCIDe safety switch system, it is incorporated to control the signaling of cells. In this case, rimiducid with rivo-cel combination is used to stop the morbidity or mortality that occurs in Graft-versus-host-disease ((GvHD)). GvHD is where after a transplant takes place, then the body views the new graft of cells as intruders. This causes the patient's own body to attack these cells that have been transplanted.

This is the lead product of the pipeline. It is the furthest along and has been greatly de-risked. The reason why I say de-risked is because Rivo-cel has already met the primary endpoint of a European registrational study. This is a phase 1/2 study using Rivo-cel to treat these pediatric patients with blood disorders. This study recruited patients with either malignant or non-malignant blood disorders who underwent a haploidentical stem cell transplant. The phase 1/2 study was known as the BP-004 trial. Before diving further into the data itself, it's important to understand that there was another separate comparator trial that was done. The comparator study had pediatric patients with malignant or non-malignant blood disorders that underwent a matched unrelated donor ((MUD)) HLA 10/10 transplant during the same time as the other study. The unrelated matched donor 10/10 means that there are aspects such as ethnicity and other measures that closely match the patient in question. The reason for the separation was to determine if the phase 1/2 study that used Rivo-cel could achieve non-inferiority over the use of the other type of transplant typically used. How was the primary endpoint established then in terms of non-inferiority? In essence, there was an endpoint used for each study. In the Rivo-cel phase 1/2 BP-004 study, Event Free Survival ((EFS)) at 180 days was 90.9% for Rivo-cel. This compares to the comparator study where EFS at 180 days ended up being 89.9%. As you can see, non-inferiority was established with Rivo-cel. Why is this data important? Bellicum has been able to find an unmet medical need in this space.

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Disclosure: I am/we are long Bellicum Pharmaceuticals

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Comments

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Dick Kaplan 1 week ago Member's comment

Based on history, any catalyst will lead to new lows. $BLCM

Terry Chrisomalis 1 week ago Author's comment

That's because before the recent influx of cash investors were worried about dilution or cash raise. They knew that cash was low and they were going to need more cash. So any catalyst of course would have cause new lows. However, now with Baker Brothers and financing completed they have cash slightly past 2021. They are good on cash now. I don't believe any positive catalyst will have a negative reaction. Also, it depends. If Bellicum finds a partner for instance for Europe on rivo-cel with upfront cash and milestone payments it will trade higher. But thanks for your opinion.

David A Romero 5 days ago Member's comment

How likely is finidng a partner for $BLCM?

Terry Chrisomalis 5 days ago Author's comment

That's hard to say because it depends on negotiations. But Rivo-cel in Europe in pediatric setting can garner $500 million to $700 million in revenue. On top of the phase 2/3 THRIVE study which is ongoing right now, once data for that is revealed if it is successful with primary endpoint that adult population would add the potential for $3 to $4 billion in revenue. So on that basis I would say a very good chance. Having said that it's hard to say when it will come. Because big deals take about 3 to 6 months to negotiate. So without knowing when they started talks it's hard to say exactly.

David A Romero 5 days ago Member's comment

Thanks for answering, Terry.

Daniel Charles 1 week ago Member's comment

Good answer, Terry.