What happened

Shares of Agenus (AGEN -3.38%) rose as much as 12.1% today. While there wasn't any specific news lifting the stock, investors are anticipating good news ahead of the company's investor day, scheduled for tomorrow. 

The development-stage biopharmaceutical company is set to present clinical data from two drug candidates at the investor day: a combination therapy comprising AGEN2034 and AGEN1884, and AGEN1181 as a monotherapy. All three experimental therapies are monoclonal antibodies being developed as oncology assets.

As of 3:04 p.m. EST, the pharma stock was trading at its intraday high representing a 12.1% gain.

An arrow bouncing up shelves on a wall.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In late December, Agenus initiated a phase 1/2 clinical trial of its therapy combining the company's two lead drug candidates: AGEN2034 (balstilimab) and AGEN1884 (zalifrelimab). The former inhibits CTLA-4, while the latter inhibits PD-1. Both proteins are common targets of oncology drugs, but there's always room to demonstrate more effective inhibition with fewer side effects, especially in advanced cancers. 

Agenus is also expected to report data from a dose escalation study of AGEN1181. The monoclonal antibody is a next-generation anti-CTLA-4 drug candidate, and has been designed to be more potent against tumors relying on CTLA-4 mutations.

Now what

Investors are clearly intrigued by the company's technology platform, but the excitement must be supported by promising clinical results. Agenus will get the first chance to share meaningful early-stage results for its current pipeline at its investor day. If all goes well, it wouldn't be surprising if the company raises more funding through a public stock offering to take advantage of a soaring stock price. But first things first: Let's see the data.