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Why is Gritstone bio, Inc. (GRTS) stock driving high in the aftermarket?

Gritstone bio, Inc. (GRTS) has experienced an incline of 1.42% in the aftermarket. However, the last trading session concluded at $10.58 with a decrease of 5.96%.

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Third Quarter 2021 Financial results

GRTS announced third quarter 2021 financial results on 3rd November 2021. The company reported that marketable securities and restricted cash were $216.4 million, more than $172.1 million as of December 31, 2020. Moreover, research and development costs were $24.4 million, compared to $22.1 million for the same period in 2020. The rise was mostly attributable to $1.7 million in personnel-related expenditures and $2.4 million in outside services, which were somewhat offset by $1.8 million in laboratory supply reductions.

Also, the general and administrative costs were $6.4 million, more than the $5.0 million for the same period in 2020. Increases in personnel-related expenditures and outside services accounted for the majority of the rise. Lastly, the collaboration revenue was $2.4 million, compared to $0.8 million for the same period in 2020. The rise was attributed to revenue from the partnership deal with Gilead, which began in January 2021.

Dosing of First Volunteer

GRTS announced on 20th September 2021 that GRT-R910 has been dosed to the first volunteer in a Phase 1 trial assessing the capacity of GRT-R910, a self-amplifying mRNA (SAM) second-generation SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. This is done to increase and broaden the vaccine efficacy of first-generation COVID-19 vaccines in subjects 60 years and older. The University of Manchester and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom are working together to perform this single-center study.

The SAM COVID vaccine is intended to generate robust CD8+ T cell responses as well as strong neutralizing antibody responses, promising longer-lasting immunity, particularly in more vulnerable communities. In addition, viral membrane proteins such as the spike protein are progressing and sometimes temporarily evading vaccine-induced immunity. Hence, the company has developed GRT-R910 to have wider therapeutic effects against such a wide range of SARS-CoV-2 variants by producing exceptional conserved viral proteins that may be less prone to random mutation.

Dosing of First Solid Tumor Patient with Optimized SLATE

On 17th September 2021, GRTS reported the Phase 2 clinical trial findings for its SLATE v1 product. Not only this but the company announced the dosing of the first patient in the enhanced SLATE v2 product. SLATE v2 has been developed to generate a more powerful immune reaction to mutant KRAS neoantigens than SLATE v1, based on human translational immunology findings from v1 patients.

Moreover, the company is thrilled to treat the first patient with the KRAS-specific version (v2) of the SLATE immunotherapy. The clinical data produced with v1 has encouraged GRTS, and product redesign based on translational immunology data has facilitated this optimized v2, which will be initially evaluated in more non-small cell cancer patients following immunotherapeutic progression, as well as patients with microsatellite-stable colorectal cancer.

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