ITUS, the Implications of ASCO-SITC

Later today, ASCO will release ITUS’s abstract for the ASCO/SITC meeting. Investors have been anxiously awaiting the data from the presentation. However, the release of the abstract, while in and of itself a positive, will not reveal the data that some are looking forward to; instead, investors will have to wait until the 26th of January to receive all the details. Here’s why…

When a company submits an abstract for a conference, they are basically telling their audience something like, “this study is ongoing and we will be revealing the results at the conference.” Specifically to ITUS, the abstract was submitted to ASCO many months ago; long before the Company itself knew the results.

The abstract itself is a positive on one level; if the results were bad, ITUS would have likely pulled the abstract from the conference. So, we can expect the results to be a positive for the Company and, likely, the stock. However, the results will not be shown until the 26th, so anyone thinking they’ll look at the abstract and be excited is missing the picture.

The data when presented on the 26th is only for registered ASCO/SITC conference attendees. Therefore, it does not automatically become public. I’ve been told that ITUS will email and make available the poster on the 29th to people who request it. They will also issue a release on the 29th summarizing the results because the presentation is highly technical.

To give investors a further insight into the data, ITUS’ CEO, Dr. Amit Kumar, and I will be sitting down to an interview the week after ASCO-SITC. At that time we’ll not only discuss the results, and its implications for C-Chek, we will also be discussing their early stage CAR-T therapy.

With the acquisition of JUNO by CELG for $9B, which followed on the heels of Gilead’s $12B purchase of KITE, the CAR-T space is really heating up. ITUS’ therapy, which they licensed from the Wistar Institute, is focused on solid tumors; a much larger market than liquid, or blood, tumors.

While ITUS’ therapy is earlier stage than their larger competitors, if the data developed in the current trials at Moffitt is positive, it would be well positioned as possibly the first successful solid tumor CAR-T treatment. There’s no reason in my mind to think that Moffitt shouldn’t be able to recreate the positive results shown at Wistar. Which, if it were to happen, would be tremendous for ITUS share price.

Thus, with upcoming data on C-Chek, and a promising CAR-T therapy, ITUS remains one of Tailwinds’ top picks.

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