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This Day That Year: HOOKIPA Pharma (HOOK)

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Shares of HOOKIPA Pharma Inc. (HOOK) are down 44 percent from their 52-week high of $14.38, recorded last April, and trade around $8.

The Company made its debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on April 18, 2019, by setting a public offering at $14 per share.

HOOKIPA Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a new class of immunotherapeutics targeting infectious diseases and cancers based on its proprietary arenavirus platform that is designed to reprogram the body's immune system.

The Company's lead infectious disease product candidate is HB-101 Prophylactic Vaccine, which is under a phase II clinical trial in cytomegalovirus-negative patients awaiting kidney transplantation from cytomegalovirus-positive donors.

HOOKIPA expects to report safety and immunogenicity data in the first half of 2020 from approximately one-third of the total 150 patients to be enrolled, including placebo recipients in the phase II HB-101 trial. The immunogenicity data set will contain both CMV-specific antibody (gB) and CMV-specific CD8+ T cell responses.
The preliminary efficacy data is expected to be reported late in the second half of 2020.

In healthy people, Cytomegalovirus causes only mild illnesses like fever, sore throat, fatigue and swollen glands. But people with weakened immune systems who get CMV can have more serious symptoms affecting the eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines. (Source: CDC).

There is no approved CMV vaccine to prevent infections or reactivation. CMV causes significant morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised individuals, including solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients and neonates (congenital).

It is estimated that about 20%-30% or roughly 25,000 SOT recipients develop CMV disease annually worldwide and about 20,000-30,000 infants are infected with the virus every year in the U.S.

Also in the pipeline are the oncology product candidates, HB-201 and HB-202, for the treatment of human papillomavirus-positive cancers.

HB-201 is under a phase I/II trial, with preliminary results expected in late 2020 or early 2021. The Company plans to evaluate HB-202 in combination with HB-201 in HPV16+ cancers, with or without an approved checkpoint inhibitor. A phase I/II trial evaluating the combination of HB-201 and HB-202 is expected to commence later in 2020.

Research Collaboration

HOOKIPA Pharma has a partnership with Gilead Sciences (GILD) to develop arenavirus based therapeutics for HBV and HIV infection.

A one-time upfront payment of $10.0 million was received by the Company upon entering into the agreement in June 2018. It is also entitled to receive up to $400 million from Gilead upon the achievement of specified development, regulatory, and commercial milestones.

Key Numbers:

Accumulated deficit: $60 million (as of Dec.31, 2019)

Annual revenue from collaboration and licensing: $11.94 million in 2018 vs. $7.63 million in 2018

Annual net Loss: $43 million in 2019 vs. $16.24 million in 2018

Cash on hand as of year-end 2019: $113.6 million

HOOK has traded in a range of $5.80 to $14.38 in the last 1 year. The stock closed Friday's (Apr.17) trading at $8.05, up 11.34%.

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