Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 08, 2019 • 08:30 am ET


Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN) Q2 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for standing by and welcome to the Agenus Second Quarter 2019 Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] I would now like to turn the conference over to Dr. Jennifer Buell, Chief Operating Officer of Agenus. Dr. Buell. Please go ahead.

Jennifer Buell

Thank you, Brandon. Today's call is being webcast and will be available on our website with our accompanying slide material for replay. Before we start, we'd like to remind you that this call will include forward-looking statements, including statements regarding our clinical development plans and timelines for data release and partnership opportunities and timelines.

These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, and we refer you to our SEC filings for more details on these risks. As a reminder, this call is being recorded for audio broadcast.

I'm Jennifer Buell, Chief Operating Officer of Agenus. Today, we are delighted to provide an update on our business. Joining me are Dr. Garo Armen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Paisley Myers, a member of our innovation team, and Christine Klaskin, our Vice President of Finance.

In the first half of 2019, we have continued to deliver new discoveries to the clinic, and advance our proprietary and partnered programs with pathbreaking speed. Let me expand on this progress. In 2019, we have filed two INDs, and we're on track to file additional INDs before year end.

Our first filing this year was for our anti-CD137 molecule. This is AGEN2373 that includes important safety and efficacy advantages designed into the molecule. We spoke about this during our Q1 call and have now cleared the IND. This molecule AGEN2373 is a fully human monoclonal antibody that boosts the immune response to cancer cells by enhancing CD137 co-stimulatory signaling and activated immune cells, both adaptive T-cells and innate NK-cells. The potential to duly target innate and adaptive immunity makes CD137 a highly attractive target for cancer immune therapy. Additionally, the unique binding properties of our molecule, AGEN2373 are designed to enhance efficacy while limiting the systemic toxicity observed with competitor molecules.

Now, our second IND filing this year was for our proprietary phosphorylated antigen targeting vaccines designed with unique advantages to educate the immune system to seek out cancer cells, carrying these antigens while sparing healthy cells. Dr. Paisley Myers, our expert on this platform technology is here to tell you more about our advancements. The platform represents a novel class of cancer neoantigens, which have unique advantages in therapies for cancer. These antigens are common and targetable and can be leveraged for a single product that can induce immune recognition across multiple different cancers. We've identified antigens from this target class to enable us to create off the shelf multi indication therapeutics or pan indication therapeutics for solid tumors as well as hematologic cancers. Dr. Myers will tell you more about this shortly.

Further, our proprietary CTLA-4 and PD-1 antibodies are advancing towards a planned BLA filing in 2020. Given our accrual status to-date, we've recently triggered our interim analysis,