Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN), an immunology company developing innovative treatments for cancers and other diseases, announced that it has acquired rights to antibodies targeting Carcinoembryonic Antigen Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (CEACAM1), a glycoprotein expressed on T cell and NK cell lymphocytes from Diatheva s.r.l., an Italian biotech company controlled by SOL S.p.A. CEACAM1 is overexpressed in melanoma, bladder, lung, colon, pancreas, and gastric cancers and has been shown to modulate innate and adaptive immune suppression in pre-clinical studies. Antibodies targeting CEACAM1 are thought to have the potential to effectively treat cancer alone or in combination with other checkpoint modulator antibodies, including those in Agenus’ development pipeline.
“CEACAM1 is emerging as a powerful immune modulator, with significant evidence that blocking its interactions could strengthen immune cells’ attack on cancer,” said Robert Stein, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Agenus. “Diatheva’s anti-CEACAM1 monoclonal antibodies expand and complement our broad portfolio of checkpoint modulators and personalized cancer vaccines, with the potential to create best-in-class combination therapies for treating patients with cancer.”
Under the license agreement, Agenus receives exclusive, worldwide rights for development and commercialization of CEACAM1 antibodies from Diatheva. Agenus is responsible for certain upfront, early development, clinical trial and regulatory milestone payments for the successful development of CEACAM1 antibodies totaling as much as $44 million. Diatheva is also eligible to receive additional sales milestones and royalties.
Professor Mauro Magnani, Ph.D., Founder and Scientific Director of Diatheva, stated, “Agenus’ proven immuno-oncology and development capabilities, represents an exciting opportunity for Diatheva’s most advanced human monoclonal antibodies. Agenus’ selection of our anti-CEACAM1 antibodies is indicative of the quality of Diatheva’s research and will support reinvestment in our company’s pipeline.” (Original Source)
Shares of Agenus closed last Friday at $9.38. AGEN has a 1-year high of $10.16 and a 1-year low of $2.56. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $8.85 and its 200-day moving average is $6.43.
On the ratings front, Agenus has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on June 11, Oppenheimer analyst Christopher Marai initiated coverage with a Buy rating on AGEN and a price target of $14, which represents a potential upside of 49.3% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on March 24, MLV & Co.’s Arlinda Lee reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $9.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Christopher Marai and Arlinda Lee have a total average return of 54.8% and 16.3% respectively. Marai has a success rate of 76.5% and is ranked #6 out of 3712 analysts, while Lee has a success rate of 60.7% and is ranked #367.
Agenus Inc along with its subsidiaries is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in developing and commercializing technologies to treat cancers and degenerative disorders.