Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Nov 06, 2018 • 08:30 am ET


Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) Q3 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the Agenus Third Quarter Financial Results Conference Call. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded.

Now, I would like to turn the conference over to Dr. Jennifer Buell, Head of External Affairs and Communications at Agenus. Please go ahead, Dr. Buell.

Jennifer Buell

Thank you. Welcome to the Agenus third quarter financial results conference call.

(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)

As a remainder, this call is being recorded for audio broadcast. Joining me today are Dr. Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO; Dr. Anna Wijatyk, Head of Clinical Development; Dr. Sunil Gupta, Head of Regulatory and Pharmacovigilance; and Christine Klaskin, our VP of Finance. During this call, Garo will provide a corporate update, Anna will summarize our clinical progress and paths to BLA, and Christine will provide a financial review. We will then open the call for questions.

With that, let me turn the call over to Garo.

Garo Armen

Good morning, everybody. I will update you firstly on our substantial operational achievements, which are unprecedented certainly for a company of our size, but also for the field of immuno-oncology. Second, I will provide the latest update on the status of our partnership discussions. And third, I will discuss our financial status and our creative financing strategies that have allowed us to advance our programs, while maintaining or growing our cash balances. Recently at ESMO, we reported that of the 130 patients treated with our CTLA-4 and PD-1 antibodies, more than 60% have shown clinical benefits.

These include, durable responses across multiple solid tumors, including cervical cancer, which is the subject of our first registration strategy as you will hear from Dr. Anna Wijatyk, our VP of Clinical Development, who will cover our discussions with the FDA last week, which have confirmed our path to a planned BLA filing in 2020. Our discovery and innovation engine, which has given birth to our lead clinical stage antibodies CTLA-4 and PD-1 will have produced 12 IND filings by the close of this year. This is an industry record. Our innovative portfolio includes first in class and best in class assets. Today, eight of these programs are in the clinic and also advancing in combination trials.

Next, I will address the status of our partnering activities. I will provide an update on this with as much transparency as possible, while continuing to respect the sensitivity of these discussions. Clearly, we had hoped that we could close on one of these transactions as early as eight weeks following our last earnings call. However, things have taken a bit longer, simply because of process. Despite these delays, two of the prospects are now rapidly advancing towards closure. As mentioned in prior calls, we have sought and identified partners who are best fit to maximize value to Agenus, to them and to our respective shareholders. This includes companies with an understanding of the critical importance of our diverse pipeline that we have built to optimize the possibilities of achieving significant success with clinical trials as well