Financial Advisors are Looking Closer at ITUS Corp (ITUS) Amid Developments in Cancer Treatment Efforts
During the shortened holiday week, the US stock market extended its rally, with the S&P 500 gaining 0.91% between November 20 and November 24 and topped the 2,600-point mark on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average inched up by 0.86% and the Nasdaq Composite surged by 1.57%. All three indexes registered records, with the S&P 500 notching its 55th closing high on Friday, while Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average hit the 69th and 60th closing high, respectively. Analysts project that they will continue to climb through 2018. Goldman Sachs last week raised its target for the S&P 500 to 2,850 by end-2017.
The stock market’s rally was fueled by large-cap tech stocks like Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL), which appreciated ahead of the holiday shopping season that kicked off on Friday. Shares of traditional retailers like Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) and Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS) also advanced, having recovered some of the losses registered throughout the year, as investors are worried about online shopping overtaking brick-and-mortar retailers.
A couple of companies, including Medtronic plc. (NYSE:MDT), Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL), Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR), and Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) also provided a boost as they reported strong financial results. Investors are also excited about a possible corporate tax rate cut by the end of the season, although there are still concerns whether a deal will be reached by the end of the year. With midterm elections approaching, Republicans might not have so much time, as Democrats could take a majority in the House and Senate in 2018. In other news, the FOMC minutes released on Wednesday reinforced the opinion that a rate hike will take place in December.
In the meantime, TrackStar, InvestingChannel’s official newsletter capturing and analyzing the trends of Financial Advisors, has looked at the tickers that Financial Advisors most searched for last week. The top 20 most searched tickers remained pretty much unchanged from the previous week. NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) kept the top spot, as the company reported its results two weeks ago. Nano-cap WPCS International Incorporated (NASDAQ:WPCS) ranked on the second spot, followed by Equifax Inc. (NYSE:EFX) and ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS), another nano-cap stock. General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) ranked as the fifth most-searched ticker as the stock continues to trade below $20 and the company announced a couple of developments last week, such as a partnership between GE Healthcare and NVIDIA Corporation to provide NVIDIA’s artificial intelligence chips to GE Healthcare’s imaging devices. GE Healthcare also entered into an extended partnership with Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to employ Intel’s Xeon Scalable platform to lower imaging device ownership costs.
In this article, let’s take a closer look at ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS), which ranked among the top five stocks for two weeks in a row. ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS) is a $42 million stock that has plunged by 49% since the beginning of the year although it spiked in mid-September and is up by 276% since then.
ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS) is developing a diagnostic platform for the early detection of tumor-based cancers. The platform, called CChek measures a patient’s immune response to a malignancy by detecting the presence and quantity of certain immune cells.
In the last couple of weeks, ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS) has entered into two partnerships related to its cancer treatment efforts. On November 13, ITUS’s subsidiary, Certainty Therapeutics, Inc. entered into a license agreement with The Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology. Under the terms of the agreement, the subsidiary received a license to use Wistar’s chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) technology, which ITUS plans to use for the development of treatment for ovarian cancer and possibly other solid tumors. CAR-T technology involves engineering cells in immune systems to detect and destroy cancer cells and has demonstrated good results in blood cancers, but the technology is still raw when it comes to solid tumors. Certainty will pay Wistar an initial licensing fee and milestone payments, in addition to royalty payments from the sale of products developed using the technology. A couple of days later, on November 17, Certainty entered into a two-year collaboration agreement with H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute to advance clinical testing of the CAR-T technology.
Both deals show that ITUS Corp (NASDAQ:ITUS) is making some progress with cancer treatment efforts, but it still doesn’t generate any revenue from it. The company is focused mainly on its Cchek platform, which had demonstrated the efficacy of early cancer detection for 15 types of cancer, including Lung and Prostate Cancer.
However, the company’s only revenue stream is its legacy patent licensing business related to the encrypted audio/video conference calling. In the second quarter, the company generated revenue of $363,000 from this business. At the same time, ITUS Corporation (NASDAQ:ITUS) is burning fast through cash. At the end of July, its cash equivalents amounted to $1.83 million, down from $2.49 million a year earlier. The two latest agreements will further reduce the company’s cash pile, as in addition to the undisclosed initial fee it has to pay Wistar, ITUS will also pay $1.16 million to Moffitt.