Celsion Corporation (CLSN) is a $38 million microcap company focused on developing better oncology medications utilizing heat-activated liposomal formulations. The stock recently popped on a bullish “outperform” recommendation by Oppenheimer analyst Hartaj Singh, citing optimism for the company’s lead candidate ThermoDox currently in phase 3 clinical trials for the indication of primary liver cancer. The company is also advancing ThermoDox in phase 2 studies for the indication of recurrent chest wall breast cancer. CLSN is engaged in IL-12 targeting candidate GEN-1 phase 1 clinical trials. Strong Bio is forming an investment thesis that positive data and FDA approval for ThermoDox could be proof of concept for its lysolipid thermally sensitive liposome (LTSL) platform that can be used to selectively deliver many other cancer drugs to targeted regions.
ThermoDox is a proprietary heat-activated liposomal encapsulation of doxorubicin. Tumor tissues tend to be fed by “leaky” microvasulature, promoting liposome access. Heating the area of the tumor induces a phase transition of liposomes from gel state (more stable) to liquid crystalline state (higher fluidity), further increasing liposomal penetration. Studies indicate that up to 25-fold dose delivery can be attained utilizing this approach to drug delivery. A schematic of the process from the company website is shown