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Agenus Acquires PhosImmune, Adds Cancer Neoantigens

Agenus Inc. 's AGEN shares were up 6.2% on the company's announcement of the acquisition of privately-held PhosImmune Inc.

Agenus made an upfront payment of $2.5 million in cash and $7.4 million in shares. In addition, PhosImmune is eligible to receive payments of up to $35 million in cash and/or stock upon the achievement of certain milestones.

Our Take

Agenus' decision to acquire PhosImmune was a strategic move. The acquisition will help to accelerate the company's the ability to develop new cancer vaccines and other single-agent immuno-oncology approaches, including combination therapies. PhosImmune's neoantigens will help to expand Agenus' AutoSynVax vaccine program that targets patient-specific tumor neoantigens.

We note that the company has pursued strategic transactions in the past in order to strengthen its pipeline. In Nov 2015, the company announced that it has made three separate transactions. This includes a definitive agreement to acquire XOMA Corporation's XOMA antibody pilot plant manufacturing facility and capabilities, an exclusive license to a phage display library from IONTAS, and the rights to Selexis' cell line development technology.

Meanwhile, Agenus continues to progress with its pipeline. The company has successfully completed phase II studies on its heat shock protein-based vaccine, Prophage, for the treatment of newly-diagnosed glioblastoma patients.

Agenus currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Anika Therapeutics Inc. ANIK and Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ACHN , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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XOMA CORP (XOMA): Free Stock Analysis Report

AGENUS INC (AGEN): Free Stock Analysis Report

ACHILLION PHARM (ACHN): Free Stock Analysis Report

ANIKA THERAPEUT (ANIK): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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