Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Jan. 31, 2024
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  



Description of Business


As used herein, “we,” “us,” “our,” the “Company” or “Anixa” means Anixa Biosciences, Inc. and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise indicated.


Anixa Biosciences, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing vaccines and therapies that are focused on critical unmet needs in oncology. Our vaccine programs include (i) the development of a preventative vaccine against triple negative breast cancer (“TNBC”), the most lethal form of breast cancer, as well other forms of breast cancer and (ii) the development of a preventative vaccine against ovarian cancer. Our therapeutics programs include (i) the development of a chimeric endocrine receptor T cell therapy, a novel form of chimeric antigen receptor T cell (“CAR-T”) technology, initially focused on treating ovarian cancer, which is being developed at our subsidiary, Certainty Therapeutics, Inc. (“Certainty”), and (ii) until March 2023, the development of anti-viral drug candidates for the treatment of Covid-19.


We hold an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing license to use certain intellectual property owned or controlled by The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (“Cleveland Clinic”) relating to certain breast cancer vaccine technology developed at Cleveland Clinic. The license agreement requires us to make certain cash payments to Cleveland Clinic upon achievement of specific development milestones. Utilizing this technology, we are working in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic to develop a method to vaccinate women against contracting breast cancer, focused initially on TNBC. The focus of this vaccine is a specific protein, α-lactalbumin, that is only expressed during lactation in a healthy woman’s mammary tissue. This protein disappears when the woman is no longer lactating, but reappears in many forms of breast cancer, especially TNBC. Studies have shown that vaccinating against this protein prevents breast cancer in mice.


In October 2021, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (“FDA”) authorization to proceed, we commenced dosing patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial of our breast cancer vaccine. This study, which is being funded by a U.S. Department of Defense grant to Cleveland Clinic, is a multiple-ascending dose Phase 1 trial to determine the maximum tolerated dose (“MTD”) of the vaccine in patients with early-stage, triple-negative breast cancer as well as monitor immune response. The study is being conducted at Cleveland Clinic. The first segment of the study, Phase 1a, will consist of 18 to 24 patients who have completed treatment for early-stage, triple-negative breast cancer within the past three years and are currently tumor-free but at high risk for recurrence. Studies show that 42% of TNBC patients will have a recurrence of their cancer, with most of the recurrences occurring in the first two to three years after standard of care treatment. During the course of the Phase 1a study, participants will receive three vaccinations, each two weeks apart, and will be closely monitored for side effects and immune response. In January 2023, the number of participants in each dose cohort was expanded, and as of August 2023, we had completed vaccinating all patients in these expanded cohorts. In December 2023, we presented the immunological data collected to date at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The data presented show that in the vaccinated women who had been tested to date, various levels of antigen-specific T cell responses were observed at all dose levels. We have begun vaccinating participants in up to three additional dose cohorts at dose levels higher than the currently determined MTD and lower than the highest dose where we observed dose limiting side effects. Further, we have commenced vaccination of participants in the second segment of the trial, Phase 1b, that includes participants who have never had cancer, but carry certain mutations in genes such as BRCA1, BRCA2 or PALB2, that indicate a greater risk of developing TNBC in the future, and have elected to have a prophylactic mastectomy. Finally, we have commenced vaccination of participants in the third segment of the trial, Phase 1c, that includes post-operative TNBC patients that have residual disease following treatment and are currently undergoing treatment with pembrolizumab (Keytruda®).


In November 2020, we executed a license agreement with Cleveland Clinic pursuant to which the Company was granted an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing license to use certain intellectual property owned or controlled by Cleveland Clinic relating to certain ovarian cancer vaccine technology. The license agreement requires us to make certain cash payments to Cleveland Clinic upon achievement of specific development milestones. This technology pertains to among other things, the use of vaccines for the treatment or prevention of ovarian cancers which express the anti-Mullerian hormone receptor 2 protein containing an extracellular domain (“AMHR2-ED”). In healthy tissue, this protein regulates growth and development of egg-containing follicles in the ovary. While expression of AMHR2-ED naturally and markedly declines during menopause, this protein is expressed at high levels in the ovaries of postmenopausal women with ovarian cancer. Researchers at Cleveland Clinic believe that a vaccine targeting AMHR2-ED could prevent the occurrence of ovarian cancer.



In May 2021, Cleveland Clinic was granted acceptance for our ovarian cancer vaccine technology into the National Cancer Institute’s (“NCI”) PREVENT program. The NCI is a part of the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”). The PREVENT program is a peer-reviewed agent development program designed to support pre-clinical development of innovative interventions and biomarkers for cancer prevention and interception towards clinical trials. The scientific and financial resources of the PREVENT program are being used for our ovarian cancer vaccine technology to perform virtually all pre-clinical research and development, manufacturing and Investigational New Drug (“IND”) application enabling studies. This work is being performed at NCI facilities, by NCI scientific staff and with NCI financial resources and will require no material financial expenditures by the Company, nor the payment of any future consideration by the Company to NCI.


Our subsidiary, Certainty, is developing immuno-therapy drugs against cancer. Certainty holds an exclusive worldwide, royalty-bearing license to use certain intellectual property owned or controlled by The Wistar Institute (“Wistar”), the nation’s first independent biomedical research institute and a leading NCI designated cancer research center, relating to Wistar’s chimeric endocrine receptor targeted therapy technology. We have initially focused on the development of a treatment for ovarian cancer, but we also may pursue applications of the technology for the development of treatments for additional solid tumors. The license agreement requires Certainty to make certain cash and equity payments to Wistar upon achievement of specific development milestones. With respect to Certainty’s equity obligations to Wistar, Certainty issued to Wistar shares of its common stock equal to five percent (5%) of the common stock of Certainty, such equity stake subject to dilution by further funding of Certainty’s activities by the Company. Due to such Company funding, Wistar’s equity stake in Certainty was 4.6% as of January 31, 2024.


Certainty, in collaboration with the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Inc. (“Moffitt”), has begun human clinical testing of the CAR-T technology licensed by Certainty from Wistar aimed initially at treating ovarian cancer. After receiving authorization from the FDA, we commenced enrollment of patients in a Phase 1 clinical trial and treated the first patient in August 2022. Further, in May 2023 and August 2023, we treated the second and third patients in the trial, respectively, at the same dose level as the first patient, and the treatment was well-tolerated by the patients. In February 2024, we treated the first patient in the second dose cohort, where the patient was administered a three-times higher dose of cells than the patients in the first cohort. The treatment appears to have been well-tolerated by the patient. This study is a dose-escalation trial with two arms based on route of delivery—intraperitoneal or intravenous—to determine the maximum tolerated dose in patients with recurrent epithelial ovarian cancer and to assess persistence, expansion and efficacy of the modified T cells. The study is being conducted at Moffitt and will consist of 24 to 48 patients who have received at least two prior lines of chemotherapy. The study is estimated to be completed in two to four years depending on multiple factors including when maximum tolerated dose is reached, the rate of patient enrollment, and how long we maintain the two different delivery methods.


Over the next several quarters, we expect the development of our vaccines and therapeutics to be the primary focus of the Company. As part of our legacy operations, the Company remains engaged in limited patent licensing activities of its various patent portfolios. We do not expect these activities to be a significant part of the Company’s ongoing operations nor do we expect these activities to require material financial resources or attention of senior management.


Over the past several years, our revenue was derived from technology licensing and the sale of patented technologies, including revenue from the settlement of litigation. We have not generated any revenue to date from our vaccine or therapeutics programs. In addition, while we pursue our vaccine and therapeutics programs, we may also make investments in and form new companies to develop additional emerging technologies. We do not expect to begin generating revenue with respect to any of our current vaccine or therapy programs in the near term. We hope to achieve a profitable outcome by eventually licensing our technologies to large pharmaceutical companies that have the resources and infrastructure in place to manufacture, market and sell our technologies as vaccines or therapeutics. The eventual licensing of any of our technologies may take several years, if it is to occur at all, and may depend on positive results from human clinical trials.



Funding and Management’s Plans


Based on currently available information as of March 12, 2024, we believe that our existing cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments and expected cash flows will be sufficient to fund our activities for at least the next twelve months. We have implemented a business model that conserves funds by collaborating with third parties to develop our technologies. However, our projections of future cash needs and cash flows may differ from actual results. If current cash on hand, cash equivalents, short-term investments and cash that may be generated from our business operations are insufficient to continue to operate our business, or if we elect to invest in or acquire a company or companies or new technology or technologies that are synergistic with or complementary to our technologies, we may be required to obtain more working capital. During the three months ended January 31, 2024, we raised approximately $2,196,000, net of expenses, through an at-the-market equity offering of 555,820 shares of common stock, under which offering we may issue up to $100 million of common stock. Under our at-the-market equity program, which is currently effective and may remain available for us to use in the future, as of January 31, 2024, we may sell an additional approximately $98 million of common stock. We may seek to obtain working capital during our fiscal year 2024 or thereafter through sales of our equity securities or through bank credit facilities or public or private debt from various financial institutions where possible. We cannot be certain that additional funding will be available on acceptable terms, or at all. If we do identify sources for additional funding, the sale of additional equity securities or convertible debt will result in dilution to our stockholders. We can give no assurance that we will generate sufficient cash flows in the future to satisfy our liquidity requirements or sustain future operations, or that other sources of funding, such as sales of equity or debt, would be available or would be approved by our security holders, if needed, on favorable terms or at all. If we fail to obtain additional working capital as and when needed, such failure could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations and financial condition. Furthermore, such lack of funds may inhibit our ability to respond to competitive pressures or unanticipated capital needs, or may force us to reduce operating expenses, which would significantly harm the business and development of operations.