Company Update (NASDAQ:AGEN): Agenus Inc Completes XOMA Antibody Manufacturing Pilot Plant Acquisition
Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN), an immunotherapy company developing innovative treatments for patients with cancer, announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of XOMA Corporation’s (NASDAQ:XOMA) antibody manufacturing pilot plant and capabilities. XOMA’s experienced chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) team has joined Agenus and will continue to operate the facility. This pilot plant will enable the company to manufacture checkpoint modulator (CPM) antibodies for its own programs and those of its collaborators. The facility is expected to provide Agenus’ antibody supply requirements through clinical proof-of-concept studies.
“By having this in-house capability, we will reduce our dependence on outside CMOs, and will benefit from higher quality outcomes. This acquisition, along with our significant antibody discovery and optimization capabilities and access to state-of-the-art cell line development, should provide us with key advantages in ensuring speed and quality in our product development efforts,” said Garo Armen, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of Agenus. “We look forward to working with the new CMC team and welcoming them to the company.”
Agenus’ CPM discovery capabilities now include a broad and complementary suite of technologies, including a phage display library exclusively licensed from IONTAS, Agenus’ mammalian Retrocyte Display™, and the SECANT® yeast display platforms, as well as a cell line development technology acquired from Selexis. These technologies, combined with the new GMP manufacturing facility, are expected to result in greater overall efficiencies and faster, improved product development and manufacturing at significantly reduced costs. Agenus’ development capabilities should allow the company to scale-up candidate production and to expand its pipeline of CPMs, leading to additional partnership opportunities.
Under the terms of the agreement with XOMA, Agenus paid $5.0 million in cash and $500,000 in shares of Agenus common stock at closing, with an additional $500,000 in shares of Agenus common stock payable at a later date. In addition to the new manufacturing facility and the team of qualified CMC professionals, Agenus also gained access to certain XOMA technologies. Agenus expects to realize substantial cost savings from the new manufacturing pilot plant as compared to engaging third party contract manufacturers. (Original Source)
Shares of Agenus closed last Thursday at $4.54, down $0.18 or -3.81%. AGEN has a 1-year high of $10.16 and a 1-year low of $3.75. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $4.57 and its 200-day moving average is $6.26.
On the ratings front, Agenus has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on December 16, Jefferies Co. analyst Biren Amin initiated coverage with a Buy rating on AGEN and a price target of $8, which represents a potential upside of 76.2% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on November 5, Oppenheimer’s Christopher Marai maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $14.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Biren Amin and Christopher Marai have a total average return of 9.2% and 25.4% respectively. Amin has a success rate of 51.7% and is ranked #415 out of 3648 analysts, while Marai has a success rate of 65.2% and is ranked #8.
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.