XOMA Corp (NASDAQ:XOMA), a leader in the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies, announced today it has agreed to sell its biologics manufacturing facilities, equipment, and associated real estate to Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN). The transaction is expected to close in December 2015. In conjunction with the transaction, Agenus will offer employment to a select team of XOMA employees currently operating the facilities and may provide small-scale manufacturing services for XOMA in the future.

“We welcome Agenus as our neighbor and our manufacturing collaborator. We are very pleased our colleagues will have the opportunity to join Agenus where they can continue their leadership role in creating and advancing manufacturing technologies that allow for cost-effective antibody drug development,” stated John Varian, Chief Executive Officer of XOMA. “With this transaction and the divesture of our biodefense program to Nano therapeutics, we will have trimmed our headcount by over 50 percent, and it will complete our transformation to an endocrine company. We are now laser focused on advancing our deep pipeline of endocrine assets, particularly XOMA 358, to offer new hope to underserved patient populations.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Agenus will pay approximately $5.0 million in cash up-front and $1.0 million in common stock. In addition to the biologics manufacturing facility and a team of employees associated with the program, Agenus will also gain access to selected antibody technologies.

Concurrently, XOMA also announced it has divested its biodefense program to Nanotherapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company located in Alachua, FL. Nanotherapeutics will extend employment offers to all employees associated with the program and will prosecute related contract awards going forward. Future opportunities for advancement of XOMA’s anti-botulinum assets will be solicited and conducted by Nanotherapeutics. (Original Source)

Shares of Xoma Corp. closed today at $1.75, up $0.02 or 1.16%. XOMA has a 1-year high of $5.95 and a 1-year low of $0.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $1.03 and its 200-day moving average is $2.22.

On the ratings front, Xoma has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 26, Wedbush analyst Liana Moussatos maintained a Buy rating on XOMA, with a price target of $6, which implies an upside of 222.6% from current levels. Separately, on October 1, Piper Jaffray’s Edward Tenthoff maintained a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $1.50.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Liana Moussatos and Edward Tenthoff have a total average return of 19.6% and 10.1% respectively. Moussatos has a success rate of 41.6% and is ranked #89 out of 3824 analysts, while Tenthoff has a success rate of 46.7% and is ranked #584.

XOMA Corp discovers and develops antibody-based therapeutics. Several of its antibodies have properties due to their interaction at allosteric sites on specific protein rather than the orthosteric, or active sites.