agenus inc (AGEN) Key Developments
Agenus Inc. Presents at JMP Securities Life Sciences Conference, Jun-23-2015 12:00 PM
Jun 18 15
Agenus Inc. Presents at JMP Securities Life Sciences Conference, Jun-23-2015 12:00 PM. Venue: The St. Regis New York, 2 East 55th Street, New York, NY 10022, United States.
Agenus Inc. Appoints C. Evan Ballantyne as Chief Financial Officer
Jun 17 15
Agenus Inc. announced the appointment of C. Evan Ballantyne as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Ballantyne will be responsible for all aspects of the company’s financial, accounting, investor relations and corporate communication functions. Mr. Ballantyne brings more than 30 years of financial and operations experience to Agenus. Most recently, Mr. Ballantyne served as the Chief Financial Officer at Synthetic Biologics Inc. from February 2012 to May 2015.
Merck Extends Immuno-Oncology Collaboration with Agenus Inc
Jun 3 15
Agenus Inc. announced that Merck, through a subsidiary, has extended its collaborative research term under its existing collaboration and license agreement with Agenus, for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies to Merck proprietary immune checkpoints for the treatment of cancer. Under the terms of the original agreement, Agenus will discover and optimize fully human antibodies against two undisclosed Merck checkpoint targets using the Retrocyte Display platform. Merck will be responsible for the further development and commercialization of candidates generated under the collaboration. The discovery phase has been extended to April 2016. As previously disclosed, under the terms of the agreement, Agenus is eligible to receive approximately $100 million in milestone payments as well as royalties on worldwide product sales.
Agenus, Merck Extend Immuno-Oncology Collaboration
Jun 3 15
Agenus (AGEN) and Merck (MRK) have extended the research term under their existing collaboration and license agreement for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies. Under the amended agreement, Agenus is now given until April 2016 to discover and optimize fully human antibodies against two undisclosed Merck checkpoint targets using the Retrocyte Display platform. Merck will still be responsible for the further development and commercialization of candidates generated under the collaboration. Furthermore, Agenus is eligible to receive approximately $100 million in milestone payments as well as royalties on worldwide product sales.
Agenus Inc. Provides Update on Phase 2 Data of Prophage in Newly Diagnosed GBM
Jun 1 15
Agenus Inc. announced that patients with newly diagnosed Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) treated with Prophage (AGEN’s individualized heat shock protein (HSP)-based cancer vaccine) plus Standard of Care (SOC) show substantially longer Progression Free Survival (PFS) and median Overall Survival (mOS) compared to historical SOC data. GBM patients show evidence of tumor-mediated immunosuppression prior to treatment, measurable in part by greater expression of PD-L1 (Programmed Death Receptor – Ligand - on monocytic white cells in their peripheral blood. These elevations of peripheral blood monocyte PD-L1 correlate with elevation of PD-L1 expressing macrophages in their brain tumors, potentially working against effective immuno-therapy. When outcomes in this study were analyzed based on the extent of monocyte PD-L1 expression, the 50% of patients with less elevated PD-L1 showed markedly better PFS and mOS than historical SOC: PFS of 27 months versus 5-9 months and mOS of 45 months versus 15-19 months. Further, more than a third of these patients remain alive for more than three years from initial treatment, and more than 80% of these have not progressed. Prophage plus SOC also gave longer PFS and mOS than historical SOC data in the 50% of patients with greater monocyte PD-L1 elevation, although the differences were less pronounced. This raises the possibility of an improved Prophage benefit by combination with Checkpoint Modulating Antibodies (CPMs) that block PD-1 or PD-L1. Additionally, the reported data suggest that Prophage added to SOC leads to longer mPFS and mOS regardless of MGMT methylation status, a known predictor of response to SOC. When Prophage is added to SOC in MGMT methylated patients in this study, the mOS was 44.7 months, compared to 23 months reported for comparable MGMT methylated GBM patients on SOC alone in recent controlled trials (RTOG 0825). MGMT methylation and PD-L1 expression on monocytes appear to be independent predictive markers in these patients. Although the apparent benefit of adding Prophage to SOC was observable in all subgroups of patients compared to historical SOC outcomes, the prolongations of mPFS and mOS are especially striking in patients with high MGMT and less elevated circulating monocyte expression of PD-L1: in this sub-group more than half the patients live for 4 years from initial treatment Study details: The Phase 2 single-arm trial enrolled forty-six adult patients with newly diagnosed GBM from eight centers in the U.S. Each patient received SOC (surgical resection followed by chemoradiation). Within five weeks of completing radiotherapy, patients received continuing adjuvant temozolomide as well as weekly Prophage injections for four weeks followed by monthly Prophage injections until the depletion of vaccine or tumor progression. The primary endpoints of the trial were PFS and mOS.