Why Agenus Inc. Stock Briefly Spiked Higher

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Agenus (NASDAQ: AGEN  ) , a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing immuno-oncology drug candidates, briefly spiked higher by as much as 27% this morning after reporting positive data from a phase 2 study involving investigational synthetic vaccine HerpV as a treatment candidate for patients with genital herpes simplex virus-2, or HSV-2. Shares have since given up the bulk of their gains and are now up around 2% as of this writing.

So what: According to its press release, a majority of patients demonstrated an immune response to HSV antigens following a series of vaccinations as well as a booster dose at the six-month mark. Specifically, Agenus notes that, "more than half of those vaccinated developed a robust anti-HSV cytotoxic T-cell immune response, and in those patients there was a statistically significant 75% reduction in viral load." Agenus also notes that HerpV demonstrated a durable reduction in viral shedding of roughly 14% following the booster shot, which was consistent with levels observed following the initial series of vaccines. Adverse events for the study were reported to mostly be mild and include flu-like symptoms and reactions around the injection sites.

Now what: This is certainly encouraging data considering how widespread the HSV-2 is according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, I for one would hold off on Agenus until after a significantly larger phase 3 trial mainly because of the high p-value (p-values tell us how much chance could have played into the results) of 0.08 associated with its 34% reduction in viral load as reported in November. While viral shedding was statistically significant, the p-value associate with the viral load reduction was not nearly as impressive due to the possibility of chance affecting the results. It's quite possible HerpV could go on to be quite successful, but I'd rather mitigate my risk by sticking to the sidelines until we have a larger pool of data to dig into.

HerpV could offer shareholders the opportunity to get rich, but it will likely pale in comparison to the potential of this revolutionary new product
The best biotech investors consistently reap gigantic profits by recognizing true potential earlier and more accurately than anyone else. Let me cut right to the chase. There is a product in development that will revolutionize not how we treat a common chronic illness, but potentially the entire health industry. Analysts are already licking their chops at the sales potential. In order to outsmart Wall Street and realize multi-bagger returns you will need The Motley Fool's new free report on the dream-team responsible for this game-changing blockbuster. CLICK HERE NOW.


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 3009921, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/23/2014 5:34:29 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement