Life Sciences Insight

Celsion rebrands to Imunon to reflect immunotherapy, COVID-19 vaccine ambitions

As it continues to push its DNA-based interleukin-12 (IL-12) therapy through phase 2 trials and hopes to take on the mRNA vaccine juggernauts, Celsion Corporation has decided now is the time for a rebrand to highlight its joint focus.

The New Jersey-based company will now be known as Imunon, with the company’s stock trading under the “IMNN” ticker on the Nasdaq from Sept. 21. “With this name change, we are underscoring our commitment to create a new category of medicines leveraging our proprietary plasmid DNA technology platform in the fields of immuno-oncology and vaccines,” Imunon CEO Corinne Le Goff said in a Sept. 20 statement.

This comes just a few months after Corinne joined as CEO, leaping from Moderna as its commercial head to lead the 37-year-old biotech, which had before the pandemic focused primarily on cancer treatments. 

The company has enough cash in the bank to fund operations into 2025, Le Goff added. Top of the list is the ongoing phase 2 trial of the IL-12 immunotherapy GEN-1 for the localized treatment of ovarian cancer. Enrollment in the 110-participant study, dubbed OVATION 2, is scheduled to complete by the end of the month, according to the company’s most recent financial report.

GEN-1 received a fast-track tag from the FDA in 2021, and Imunon has previously outlined plans to request a breakthrough-therapy tag on the back of clinical data.

The company also has high hopes for its other asset, although it hasn’t yet made it into the clinic. Imunon is using preclinical trials to evaluate whether its multivalent DNA plasmid technology, called Placcine, can show superiority to the hugely successful mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 from the likes of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

Imunon has ambitions beyond COVID-19, however. The company has argued Placcine has shown potential to create vaccines for a range of infectious diseases, with its rapid design capability allowing the product to target two or more variants of a single virus in one shot.