Agios Taps Wall Street Off Early Data, Aims For $75M

Agios taps Wall Street off early data, aims for $75M.

Apr 10, 2014 at 9:53AM

Agios Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AGIO) gave investors its first glimpse of encouraging, but early human clinical data a few days ago, and saw its shares soar as a result. Now, it's looking to cash in.

Cambridge, MA-based Agios wants to raise up to $75 million through a public stock offering, according to a regulatory filing. Agios had about $194 million in cash at the end of 2013, and is eyeing the extra dollars from the public markets to move its prospective cancer metabolism drugs—AG-221, AG-120, and AG-348—through their respective early stage studies.

The offering comes during a week where Agios' shares have climbed more than 36 percent. Its shares closed Wednesday at $48.42 apiece, the company's highest closing price since debuting on the Nasdaq in July.

Investors have piled into the stock after Agios produced an interim look at its first clinical trial for AG-221, a potential treatment for cancers with the IDH2 mutation. Agios only has data from seven patients with acute myeloid leukemia so far, but six of them responded to AG-221, and three of them had no trace of cancer in their blood after 28 days of treatment.  This is despite the fact that those patients only received the lowest two of four planned dosages of Agios's drug.

There's still much data to accrue, and it's unclear at this point how durable each of these responses are—or if Agios will even get the same type of responses out of the next batch of patients. But the results were a promising sign for Agios's approach of going after cellular metabolism targets. The data, for instance, had analysts talking up streamlined regulatory approval paths for AG-221.

"While patient numbers are small, there appears to be more than enough activity to support a potential accelerated approval strategy based on a single arm Phase 2 trial assuming even a 2-3 month duration of response," wrote Leerink Partners analyst Howard Liang in a note to investors.

Summit, NJ-based Celgene holds worldwide rights to AG-221 as part of the partnership it struck with Agios in 2009. About 10 to 15 percent of patients with AML, a fast-moving type of blood cancer, have the IDH2 mutation. AML patients are typically treated with chemotherapy, and often wind up needing bone marrow transplants.

You can read my wrap on the AG-221 study results here.

The 9-minute dividend strategy you need to know
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it's true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top income analyst put together a report outlining a simple 9-minutes-a-year dividend strategy that should be in every income investor's toolkit. To learn more about this "tax-skipping" dividend trick, all you have to do is click here now.

This article originally appeared on Xconomy, along with:

Ben Fidler has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Celgene. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

©1995-2014 The Motley Fool. All rights reserved. | Privacy/Legal Information