Agenus Inc. (AGEN) recently announced positive results from a phase II study (n=46) on its candidate HSPPC-96 (prophage series G-100) in combination with the current standard of care in newly diagnosed glioblastomamultiforme (:GBM) patients.
Results from the study revealed that patients treated with the combination therapy showed a significant increase in progression free survival (PFS) in comparison to patients treated with current standard of care alone. Moreover, the median overall survival (:OS) rate, the primary objective of the study, was 23.3 months in patients treated with the HSPPC-96 combination in comparison to 14.6 months in patients under current standard of care alone.
Following the positive results, Agenus now plans to hold an end of phase II meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (:FDA) to discuss about initiating a phase III study on the HSPPC-96 vaccine in patients with newly diagnosed GBM. The company plans to seek approval for the brain cancer vaccine based on the phase III study.
We are encouraged by the company’s progress on HSPPC-96. We note that Agenus has another prophage series vaccine, G-200, in its pipeline. The candidate is currently in a phase II study in combination with Roche’s (RHHBY) Avastin in patients with surgically resectable recurrent glioma.
However, the oncology market currently looks extremely crowded with the presence of big companies like Roche and Bayer (BAYRY).
Agenus presently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Meanwhile, stocks such as Actelion Ltd. (ALIOF) carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) look more attractive.