Investors Cheer As Agenus Chugs Along

Shares of Agenus Inc. (AGEN), which have nearly doubled in value year-to-date, trade around $6.

Agenus is an immuno-oncology company developing checkpoint antibodies, cell therapies, adjuvants, and vaccines designed to activate immune response to cancers and infections.

The company’s most-advanced product candidate, Balstilimab, proposed for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression following chemotherapy, is under FDA review, with a decision expected on December 16, 2021.

The key value drivers of the company are AGEN1181, AGENT-797, AGEN2373 and AGEN1777.

— AGEN1181 is under phase I/II trials as monotherapy and in combination with Balstilimab in subjects with advanced solid tumors. Updated clinical data for AGEN1181 alone and in combination with Balstilimab will be presented at an upcoming conference in the second half of this year.

— AGENT-797, an unmodified, allogeneic iNKT cell therapy, is under a phase I trial in subjects with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma. This compound has completed dose escalation in a phase 1 trial in COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome, with phase 1/2 expansion trials in viral ARDS underway. AGENT-797 is developed under Agenus’ subsidiary Mink Therapeutics (formerly AgenTus Therapeutics).

Mink Therapeutics filed a Form S-1 for a proposed public offering late July of this year.

— AGEN2373, a fully human monoclonal antibody that boosts the immune response to cancer cells, is under a phase I study.

The study is designed to evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics profiles of AGEN2373 as a monotherapy and in combination with Balstilimab and to assess the maximum tolerated dose in subjects with advanced solid tumors.

— A phase I trial of AGEN1777 alone and in combination with an anti-PD-1 in advanced solid tumors is expected to begin this quarter. Bristol Myers Squibb has a global exclusive license to this compound.

Cash position:

Agenus, which ended the second quarter of 2021 with a cash balance of $74 million, received $200 million related to its Bristol Myers Squibb partnership in July.

AGEN has traded in a range of $2.50 to $6.21 in the last 1 year. The stock closed Monday’s trading at $6.19, up 2.31%.

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