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Why Agenus Stock Is Marching Higher Today

By George Budwell - Jun 17, 2021 at 12:01PM

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The biotech took a major step toward becoming a commercial-stage cancer company.

What happened

Shares of the small-cap immunotherapy company Agenus (AGEN 3.52%) were up by a healthy 9.98% as of 11:08 a.m. EDT Thursday morning. The biotech's stock is rising today in response to the Food and Drug Administration's acceptance of the company's Biologics License Application (BLA) for balstilimab.

Balstilimab is an anti-PD-1 antibody indicated for the treatment of recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression on or after chemotherapy. The FDA reportedly set a target action date of Dec. 16, 2021, for the experimental cancer treatment.

Close up image of cancer cells.

A close-up of cancer cells. Image source: Getty Images.

So what

An approval would arguably go a long way toward validating Agenus' long and winding pivot to cancer treatments as its main value driver. What's important to understand is that the company started down this road over seven years ago, and this BLA marks Agenus' first regulatory filing from this effort.

Moreover, Wall Street has never loved this strategy due to the fact that the checkpoint inhibitor space is a tough place to make a living, given the intense level of competition. Balstilimab's upcoming regulatory review, though, could be the catalyst that finally changes the narrative around the company's cancer-treatment pipeline, as well as its stock. 

Now what

Can Agenus' shares push even higher? That's a definite yes for a multitude of reasons.

Apart from the maturation of its cancer-treatment pipeline, Agenus recently inked a lucrative development deal with Bristol Myers Squibb. This sizable deal could prove to be a prelude to a buyout.

What's more, the company has multiple clinical and regulatory catalysts coming up over the next year. Aggressive investors, therefore, might want to check out this intriguing biotech growth stock soon. 


George Budwell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Bristol Myers Squibb. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Agenus Inc. Stock Quote
Agenus Inc.
$2.65 (3.52%) $0.09
Bristol Myers Squibb Company Stock Quote
Bristol Myers Squibb Company
$72.12 (0.00%) $0.00

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