Agenus' HerpV Phase 2 Study to Treat Genital Herpes Completes Enrollment

Agenus' HerpV Phase 2 Study to Treat Genital Herpes Completes Enrollment

  *HerpV is clinically the most advanced therapeutic vaccine for the
    treatment of genital herpes
  *HerpV contains Agenus' QS-21 Stimulon^®* adjuvant currently being studied
    in 17 other clinical programs

LEXINGTON, Mass., Feb. 27, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agenus Inc. (Nasdaq:AGEN),
a developer of therapeutic vaccines for cancer and infectious diseases, today
announced it has completed patient screening in its Phase 2 randomized,
double-blind, multicenter study for HerpV, a recombinant "off-the-shelf"
therapeutic vaccine candidate for the treatment of genital herpes in herpes
simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) positive patients. HerpV contains Agenus' QS-21
Stimulon^® adjuvant (QS-21 Stimulon).

The Phase 2 study (designated as protocol C-400-02) has screened over 100
HSV-2 positive subjects and enrollment has been closed. The study will test
the biological efficacy of HerpV as measured by effect on genital viral
shedding after three injections of the therapeutic vaccine. A booster
injection of HerpV will be given at six months after treatment to evaluate the
potential durability of treatment effect.

The HerpV Phase 2 study has been supported by leading clinical experts in the
field who have expressed that a reduction in viral shedding could translate
into clinical benefit. A therapeutic vaccine to treat HSV-2 infected patients
has the potential to provide a major paradigm shift in the treatment of this
infection as well as provide significant quality of life benefits.

Agenus' QS-21 Stimulon is a novel adjuvant that is incorporated into 17
vaccines currently in clinical development, including four GlaxoSmithKline
(GSK) Phase 3 programs. Results from GSK's Phase 3 trials using MAGE-A3 cancer
immunotherapeutic vaccines in lung cancer and melanoma, which incorporate
QS-21 Stimulon, are anticipated this year.

About Heat Shock Protein Platform (HSP) and Recombinant Series

HerpV is a recombinant therapeutic vaccine for the treatment of genital
herpes, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2).The vaccine is
based on Agenus' HSP platform technology, and contains Agenus' proprietary
QS-21 Stimulon.HerpV consists of recombinant human heat shock protein-70
complexed with 32 distinct 35-mer synthetic peptides from the HSV-2 proteome.
This broad spectrum of herpes antigens is intended to allow for more accurate
immune targeting and surveillance, reducing the likelihood of immune escape.
Further, the diversity of antigens in HerpV increases the chance of providing
efficacy for a wide segment of the patient population.

In a four-arm, Phase 1 study, 35 HSV-2 seropositive patients received HerpV
(designated in the study as AG-707 plus QS-21), AG-707, QS-21 alone, or
placebo. Patients received three treatments at two-week intervals. The vaccine
was generally well tolerated, with injection site pain as the most common
reported adverse event.

In the Phase 1 study, all patients who were evaluable for immune response and
received HerpV showed a statistically significant CD4+ T cell response (100%;
7/7) to HSV-2 antigens as detected by IFNγ Elispot, and the majority of those
patients demonstrated a CD8+ T cell response (75%; 6/8). This study was
published in the scientific journal Vaccine.

About HSV-2

About one in six Americans (16.2 percent) between the ages of 14 and 49 is
infected with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2), according to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention
( Herpes is the fastest
growing STD in America and experts predict that one in four Americans will
contract an STD sometime in their life. Since two thirds of the population
that gets herpes is age 25 or younger, it is a real health threat to society.
HSV-2 is a lifelong and incurable infection that can cause recurrent and
painful genital sores.

About Agenus' QS-21 Stimulon^® Adjuvant

Agenus' flagship adjuvant, QS-21 Stimulon, is a saponin extracted from the
bark of the Quillaja saponaria tree, also known as the soap bark tree or
Soapbark, an evergreen tree native to warm temperate central Chile.Agenus'
QS-21 Stimulon has become a key component in the development of
investigational preventive vaccine formulations across a wide variety of
infectious diseases, and appears to be essential for several investigational
therapeutic vaccines intended to treat cancer and degenerative disorders.
QS-21 Stimulon has been widely studied in clinical development and tens of
thousands of patients have received vaccines containing the adjuvant.QS-21
Stimulon is being studied in clinical trials for approximately 17 vaccine
indications and include GSK's Phase 3 vaccine programs for RTS,S for malaria,
MAGE-A3 cancer immunotherapeutic for non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma
and HZ/su for shingles. In addition, Janssen's QS-21 Stimulon-containing
vaccine candidate is in Phase 2 trials for the treatment of Alzheimer's

About Agenus

Agenus Inc. is a biotechnology company working to develop treatments for
cancers and infectious diseases. The company is focused on immunotherapeutic
products based on strong platform technologies with multiple product
candidates advancing through the clinic, including several product candidates
that have advanced into late-stage clinical trials through corporate partners.
For more information, please visit

The Agenus logo is available at

Forward-Looking Statement 

This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements
regarding clinical trial activities, the publication of data, and the
potential application of the Company's technologies and product candidates in
the prevention and treatment of diseases. These forward-looking statements are
subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ
materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the factors
described under the Risk Factors section of our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended
September 30, 2012. Agenus cautions investors not to place considerable
reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These
statements speak only as of the date of this document, and Agenus undertakes
no obligation to update or revise the statements. All forward-looking
statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary
statement. Agenus' business is subject to substantial risks and uncertainties,
including those identified above. When evaluating Agenus' business and
securities, investors should give careful consideration to these risks and

*QS-21 Stimulon^® adjuvant and HerpV are assets of Antigenics, Inc., a wholly
owned subsidiary of Agenus Inc.

Stimulon is a registered trademark of Agenus Inc. and its subsidiaries.

CONTACT: Media and Investors:
         Jonae R. Barnes
         Vice President
         Investor Relations &
         Corporate Communications

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