Agenus Inc (AGEN) Incorporates NCI In Evaluation Of Prophage-Keytruda Combo

Having agreed on a collaborative deal, Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) will work together in evaluating Agenus’ personalized autologous vaccine candidate, Prophage (HSPPC-96). MRK PD-1 therapy, Keytruda from Merck & Co., Inc.(NYSE:MRK) will also be incorporated. Merck’s inclusion comes on the back of its incredible performance in the past year having recorded a rise in the stock of 19.7%.

The evaluation will be seeking the role of Prophage in conjunction with Keytruda in patients who have been diagnosed with glioblastoma (ndGBM). The phase II study will evaluate the efficacy of a PD-1 targeted checkpoint blockade. A heat shock protein-based vaccine candidate will also be used in this trial.

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Notable Efforts By Agenus To Form Collaborations

The study will have two arms. One will involve receiving Keytruda as monotherapy while the other will be receiving the Prophage-Keytruda combination. Apparently, Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN) has been on record in the recent past for its efforts to boost its pipeline. It has been soliciting for collaborations that are in line with its agenda and it will not only provide technology but also financial resources. Nonetheless, in the recent wave of competition in the pharmaceutical industry, the efforts are acknowledged.

But there is a challenge. There is no approved product in its portfolio, a situation that makes it dependent on its partners for pipeline development. This is to some extent a tall order if it has to deliver its objectives because it means it is likely to take a couple of years before it can launch an independent product.

Agenus Inc (NASDAQ:AGEN) is in competition with Sucampo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCMP) and Anika Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ANIK), which sport a Zacks Rank #1, a strong buy. Both Sucampo and Anika posted impressive earnings with the former having an increase from $1.30 to $1.74 per share for 2017 within 60 days with an average beat of 35.5%. The latter’s average beat was 33.14%.

Meanwhile, Agenus stock was trading at $4.00, an increase of $0.05 or 1.27%.

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Note: This article is written by Andy Parker and originally published at Market Exclusive.