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What happened

Shares of Iovance Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ: IOVA) fell more than 13% on Thursday. The biotech company, which specializes in using tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapies to fight cancer, has seen its shares drop by more than 25% so far this year, hitting a 52-week low of $4.41 on Thursday.

So what

Iovance has seen its shares drop for three consecutive days. The real driver is that competitors Seagen and Genmab announced earlier this month positive top-line data from a phase 3 trial for Tivdak to treat recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer. That could hurt the chances for Iovance therapy Lifileucel getting approval to treat the same condition. Lifileucel is also being looked at to treat melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In response to the news, Stifel Nicolaus downgraded its price target for Iovance from $27 to $26 on Wednesday.

Now what

The drop seems excessive considering that Lifileucel has a decent chance of getting approval to treat advanced melanoma. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently accepted the company’s Biologics License Application (BLA) for Lifileucel and granted the drug priority review with a Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) target date of Nov. 25.

As of the second quarter, Iovance reported $317.3 million in cash, enough, it said, to fund operations into the end of next year. The company had $200,000 in revenue, all from its purchase of cancer therapy Proleukin from Clinigen Limited in January, and it lost $106.5 million in the quarter, compared to a loss of $213.9 million in the same period last year.

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Jim Halley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Genmab A/s, Iovance Biotherapeutics, and Seagen. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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