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Agenus Inc. (AGEN)

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3.7050-0.1950 (-5.00%)
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3.8300 +0.12 (3.37%)
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  • J
    JIM
    Virtual Oncology Investor Conference Takeaways: Highlighting Three Top
    Therapeutics Picks in AGEN, NGM, TGTX

    • AGEN (Buy, $8 PT). Fc-enhanced CTLA-4 and TIGIT antibodies elegantly designed to stand out in the next wave of I-O innovation. Coming
    into CY21 following a strong year executing across multiple lead programs, mgmt. provided broad overview and strategic guidance for
    the upcoming year, featuring their innovative R&D discovery engine and a focus on their Fc-enhanced antibodies, (1) multi-functional
    AGEN1181 and (2) TIGIT mono- and bi-specific candidates AGEN1327 and AGEN1777, respectively, as well as highlighting their in-house
    combinatorial therapeutic approaches with PD-1, balstilimab (bali), and work being done at cell therapy subsidiary, AgenTus, deploying
    iNKT cells. By optimizing the Fab binding ability to either CTLA-4 or TIGIT and incorporating key enhancements to the Fc portion, AGEN
    has designed a class of antibodies with the ability to promote better T cell activation, improve overall safety, expand the available target
    population through improved binding to CD16 (FcyRIIIA) for both low (F/F) and high affinity alleles patients, and drive intratumoral
    regulatory T cell (Treg) depletion. Next-generation anti-CTLA-4, AGEN1181, has already generated compelling clinical responses to date
    in early Ph. I trials across endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancer in the form of 2 early CRs, 2 PRs. In comparison, >1000 patients
    treated with BMY's ipilimumab monotherapy, only 4 CRs were observed in solid tumors outside of melanoma, at high doses of 10mg/
    kg whereas AGEN1181 has demonstrated anti-tumor activity at doses ranging from 0.1mg/kg to 1mg/kg. Importantly, clinical responses
    have been observed in many hard to target tumors, e.g., those with low tumor mutational burden, microsatellite stable disease, PDL1
    or BRCA negative patients, as well as in patients with both high and low affinity, FcyRIIIA status, a notable shortcoming of first-gen
    anti-CTLA-4 agents. In our view, early compelling efficacy coupled with a lack of hepatic toxicity and manageable GI issues, will likely
    enable AGEN to leverage AGEN1181 as part of a fast-to-market strategy in large indications with no effective treatments, targeting cancer
    patients who have failed previous therapies in NSCLC, melanoma, and MSS cancers, e.g., colorectal and endometrial. On TIGIT, AGEN1777
    and AGEN1327 provide additional means to augment T cell activity and drive tumor suppression, with preclinical models indicating a
    superior reduction of tumor volume by ‘1327 in combination with PD-1, as well as effective tumor reduction in PD-1 refractory colon
    cancer models with ‘1777. AGEN anticipates filing the IND for each molecules by YE21 and the programs are also likely to benefit from
    readthrough from incremental data releases from Fc-silent anti-TIGIT programs, e.g., from GILD/RCUS, and Fc-competent versions, e.g.,
    Merck, Roche. Upon generating proof-of-concept data, we believe AGEN retains the strategic optionality to pursue a transaction similar
    to the GILD/RCUS relationship, bringing in a bolus of non-dilutive capital to advance additional pipeline programs through late-stage
    development. Further, with favorable pivotal data releases forming the basis for imminent BLA filings for both bali monotherapy and bali/
    zali combination in r/r cervical cancer, i.e., ORR/PR rate of 14%/12%, including ORR of 19% and 10% on PDL1 positive and PDL1 negative
    patients, respectively, AGEN remains well-positioned to enter the r/r cervical cancer market. Of note, AGEN has the ability to use bali
    strategically as a combination partner of choice for its high-value earlier stage pipeline, notably AGEN1181, as well as both mono '1327
    and bispecific '1777, providing additional shots on goal to bring its products to market. In addition to Agenus’ work, AgenTus, a subsidiary
    of Agenus, has dedicated resources focused on advancing its allogeneic iNKT cell therapy in the clinic. A number of differentiating
    characteristics set these lymphocytes apart including enhanced tolerability, ability to recruit and activate both natural killer and T cells,
    ability to target multiple tumor ligands, e.g., CD1d and tumor stress ligands. Additionally, the therapy was been designed with a builtin
    safety switch, i.e., in the event that severe AEs are detected, iNKTs can be eliminated via an anti-iTCR antibody used to target the
    unique invariant T cell receptor expressed on iNKTs but not on healthy immune cells. Moreover, iNKTs also have the ability to lessen
    inflammation, clear virus, and protect lung tissue, suggesting that they may have the ability to impact patients with COVID. The iNKTs are
    currently in Ph. I trials for both cancer and C-19 related outcomes and have already demonstrated initial capabilities to target the intended
    tissue. We believe significant near-term shareholder value could be created by resolving the balance sheet overhang with thoughtful
    strategic financing aimed a
  • R
    Russell
    New newsletter posted. Focuses on the Bali/Zali combo, 22% response rate versus 14% for currently approved IO treatment.

    https://agenusbio.com/newsletters/v4-i02_2021-cervical-cancer-awareness-month/
    AgenusNews • Vol. 4 • Issue 2 • Jan 26, 2021Cervical Cancer Awareness Month: Agenus’ Breakthrough Treatments and Technologies for Cervical Cancer - Agenus
    agenusbio.com
  • K
    Kevin
    My only question with the Nelum deal is that it is privately held, so no visibility into how much cash they have to actually run the panc ca trial. Presumably AGEN did DD on this before committing to this collaboration.
  • T
    TERESA
    Obviously this is not the reason for the call to be canceled tomorrow. First off the call is wednesday and the collaboration news is out today, thus they could talk freely about it. I do like the fact that it is working on Pancreatic cancer , one of the hardest and deadly cancers to treat, and I just hope it works...Lost my father to this ....I'm thinking this might even be to trap the shorts who think yesterdays move was because of todays pr. ...(IMO) there's more and bigger things coming... Atleast I hope some of these new hires are smart enough to know how to hit these shorts and make them think twice about getting into AGEN. And IF our TEAM uses strategic marketing ideas .This is just one of the ways I've spoken of to get this SP up to where it belongs. I hope that the management team is listening and learning......GLTAL's....
  • p
    peter
    SAVA is my only biotech that is up today of consequence. A lot of pumping from a SA article as opposed to what we just got on AGEN. I don't know if SAVA's drug will work for AD but the market is starting to think it seems. This has been a big graveyard for drug development but I've thrown some money at SAVA "just in case".
    Thoughts?
  • p
    peter
    I'm not saying it's likely but a QS21 deal with Novavax would finally bring Agenus "COVID bucks" that so many other companies (SRNE, NK, etc) have filled their coffers with on speculation, even without delivering a product.
  • J
    JOHN M.
    This weeks call is canceled. Wonder why.
    Good afternoon and Happy Monday!

     

    I wanted to inform you that the shareholder call will need to be cancelled for this week.

     

    My sincere apologies, but we will resume next week.

     

    Thank you!

     

     

    AMBER M. HANSON
  • p
    peter
    The #1 best reason for this rise would be word getting around that everybody on ventilators that get iNKT are getting extubated and leaving the hospital, especially with the new COVID strains looming. Likely too much to ask.
  • s
    steve
    Though possible novavax made a deal with Agenus (I’d like to see something where we are named specifically). We aren’t the only company working a QS-21 like adjuvant from the Chilean soap bark tree to boost the immune system. Garo is quoted in this article though from back in October.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2020/10/single-tree-species-may-hold-key-coronavirus-vaccine/616792/
    The rare Chilean soapbark tree produces compounds that can boost the body’s reaction to vaccines.
    The rare Chilean soapbark tree produces compounds that can boost the body’s reaction to vaccines.
    www.theatlantic.com
  • p
    peter
    I tried to post a couple of articles on the hedgehog pathway and cancer but yahoo wouldn't permit it. May be a PITA algorithm that blocks animal related content. Anyway it is clear that this is a very important pathway for fibrotic tumors such as pancreatic Ca and BCC. I can tell you from personal experience in treating advanced BCCs that the small molecule hedgehog pathway inhibitors can work wonders. BCC is a very fibrotic tumor (like a piece of gristle) and the inhibitors can make them melt away. Hope the combo works for pancreatic ca. The cost to assess it is minimal for AGEN investors.
  • p
    peter
    OK so here's the way I look at today's partnership. In and of itself not a major deal, but multiply it by 20 or 50 with different companies and with zal, zal/bal, bal, or 1181/bal. We pay next to nothing for the trial but bill full freight for the drugs if it succeeds. This is what MRK, BMY, and AZN have been doing with their CPMs. Each deal is akin to an out of the money call option purchased for pennies, potentially yielding hundreds of dollars (if the combo works). I'll gladly take all of these deals Garo can mint.
  • T
    TERESA
    Just getting time to check todays market action. Looks like bio's overall did very good, and AGEN surprised me finally. Since they cancelled the call, I'm thinking news soon. They don't want to be asked a question they may not be able to comment on, and let the cat out of the bag. Let us hope that this will be the first of many pr's coming our way soon......Lets get the AGEN word out to the investing community. So undervalued as WE all know........
  • R
    Robert
    A lot of short hunting going on in the market. Relatively high short interest here, especially compared to the daily volume. Could be a prime target.
  • H
    Harold
    Seth has it right. Call canceled because it’s easier (and better legally) to just be “unavailable” for a call than to have to dance around direct questions.

    He’s probably in serious negotiations with someone, which may or may not come to fruition. He wouldn’t want to get ahead of things, which could lead to negotiations getting called off.
  • p
    peter
    I just watched a fascinating piece from Steve Hilton on the origin of COVID-19. No matter what your politics, it worth watching. In s nutshell, gain of function viral research was banned by the Obama administration in 2014 on the recommendation of ~200 scientists because of its inherent dangers. Apparently, Dr Fauci was a believer in this research and through an intermediary scientist kept the work funded and active in the Wuhan Lab, which is the most likely source of the outbreak. Interested in others opinions.
  • M
    Marinshell
    I understand everyone loves the fact that CEO Garo takes the time every Wednesday to talk with a few shareholders on a Zoom call. However, if he has time to do this EVERY week it is indicative that there may not be a whole lot going on. Most CEOs of growing organization would not have the time to dedicate to a weekly conference call with 20 shareholders. They are just far too busy growing the business. Garo not having the time is a good thing.
  • m
    mary
    Shareholder meeting canceled for this week. Anyone wanna bet that we hear about about a partnership or some type of cash injection by the end of the week?
  • R
    Robert
    Trying to learn something about Nelum. Not much info out there. Just a bare bones website. They are located in North Carolina. https://www.nelumpharma.com/

    Robert the Stalwart
    Long to the end!!!!!!!
    Targeting Cancer and Fibrosis
    Targeting Cancer and Fibrosis
    www.nelumpharma.com
  • a
    ageninrussia
    A bunch of Redditors have started identifying stocks with high levels of short interest and manufacturing short squeezes via their Robinhood accounts, making themselves millionaires in the process. Today’s target is $GME.

    The craziest thing I’ve seen in a while.
  • p
    peter
    A little resilience here at AGEN. General market is a bit volatile. The likely reality of higher energy prices and cap gains taxes is starting to take hold in a market with record high (except for 2000) 10 year trailing PE ratios.
    AGEN is more tied to molecule performance than the general market. Seems like people may want to accumulate in anticipation of an 'event' but we've seen this picture before. Could it be "different this time" or is this another Lucy with the football moment?