In a research report released Friday, MLV analyst George Zavoico reiterated a Buy rating on Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) and raised his price target to $9.00 (from $6.00), as the company announced a multi-year partnership agreement with Incyte Corp. (NASDAQ:INCY), which is expected to facilitate and accelerate preclinical and clinical development of at least four antibody candidates targeting four distinct immune checkpoint modulator (CPM) targets for the treatment of cancer.

Zavoico noted, “In our view, the terms add resources and expertise that will enable Agenus to more rapidly and efficiently develop several CPMs, including some not yet disclosed, as well as its cancer vaccine product candidates while reducing its cash burn and bolstering its financial position.”

The analyst continued, “We view this agreement as cementing Agenus as a serious and committed player in the high-value immuno-oncology space that shows enormous promise in providing significant clinical benefit to cancer patients. We think Incyte’s proven experience in developing and commercializing small molecule anti-cancer agents will be leveraged to accelerate and optimize development of Agenus’ CPMs, including various combinations between these CPMs as well as other small molecule and antibody drugs and Agenus’ own Prophage series cancer vaccines. The agreement enables Agenus, together with Incyte, to explore product development opportunities that neither one would have been able to do by themselves.”

According to TipRanks.com, which measures analysts’ and bloggers’ success rate based on how their calls perform, analyst George Zavoico has a total average return of 12.1% and a 59.0% success rate. Zavoico has a 13.3% average return when recommending AGEN, and is ranked #521 out of 3434 analysts.