What the company does
Specifically, its technology detects evidence of the body's natural response to cancer, enabling detection four years or more before standard clinical diagnosis.
Founded in 2002, it launched its platform technology in 2009, followed by its first commercial tests - EarlyCDT-Lung and EarlyCDT-Liver.
EarlyCDT-Lung was used in the largest-ever trial for the early detection of lung cancer using biomarkers - the National Health Service's Early Cancer Detection Test-Lung Cancer Scotland (ECLS) study of 12,210 high-risk smokers in Scotland.
Oncimmune also develops precision medicine and patient tools that allow doctors to place people being treated for cancer and autoimmune diseases into certain patient sub-groups, a process called stratification.
How it is doing
In December, the company revealed that its ImmunoINSIGHTS team played an important role in a study that “significantly expanded” the biomarkers commonly measured in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
The results, published in the peer-reviewed PLOS ONE scientific journal, also helped to develop a detailed picture of the immune response to the disease and its treatment.
Researchers from Oncimmune, drug giant Roche and University Medical Center Utrecht analysed auto-antibodies in patients with newly diagnosed RA who were treated with either Tocilizumab or Methotrexate.
Successful validation of a completely new autoantibody panel that is predictive of treatment response would be a major step forward in the management of this debilitating disease of the joints, Oncimmune said.
Meanwhile, the firm has been inking several deals including commercial terms to supply its EarlyCDT Lung blood test to the NHS Norfolk & Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group.
It has also signed a contract to provide the product to NHS Lung Health Check initiatives in Wessex and Yorkshire as part of the iDx-LUNG evaluation programme.
These were preceded in November by an agreement with California-based Augmenta Bioworks to profile patient plasma samples and assess treatment candidates discovered using the latter’s SingleCyte and DeepGrid platforms.
The first project will deploy SeroTag, Oncimmune's oncology technology, which will be used to identify potential therapeutic antibodies that bind to human antigens found in cancer patients.
The analysis will also provide insight into clinical efficacy as well as “off-target and non-specific binding” as an indicator, for example, for adverse events, Oncimmune said.
Revenue in the six months to the end of November rose to £1.83mln from £308,000 the year before.
The group recorded a gross profit of £1.41mln versus a loss of £51,000 the previous year, while the loss before tax roughly halved to £2.79mln from £5.50mln.
Oncimmune had a gross cash balance at the period end of £3.28mln, compared to £4.24mln at the start of the period, and gross debt at the end of November of £9.59mln, versus debt of £7.29mln six months earlier.
What the boss says: Adam Hill, chief executive
“We are pleased with the continued growth that the company has achieved over the last six months as we deliver on our strategic plan. We have experienced a sixfold increase in revenue against the same period last year as we continue to establish partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the key areas of oncology and autoimmune diseases and, most recently, infectious diseases,” said Adam Hill, the chief executive officer of Oncimmune, in the most recent interim results statement.
"The ImmunoINSIGHTS business is underpinned by world-leading technologies and expertise which, despite the impact of COVID-19, has delivered significant commercial opportunities. Our progress is a testament to the hard work of our team under the challenging circumstances the pandemic has presented. The key now is to optimise this value creation with growth becoming more evident as we approach the end of FY21 and enter FY22," he added.
What the broker says
"ECLS data, peer-reviewed and published in the European Respiratory Journal, validates the clinical utility of EarlyCDT Lung and detection of early Stage I/II lung cancers," analysts at finnCap said in July.
"We expect this publication to catalyse a number of conversations that Oncimmune will now have, not least with the NHS, national governments and various commercial partners that are expected to provide greater evidence of commercial traction. We also expect the Health Economic assessment from ECLS to be published by the year-end, and for this to support the use of EarlyCDT lung."