Agenus (AGEN) Spikes on Results from Malaria Vaccine Trial

Joel Anderson  |

Shares in small cap biotechnology company Agenus, Inc. (AGEN) saw its stock gap up over 20 percent before the opening bell this morning on news that the malaria vaccine it’s developing with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) showed positive results in a critical Phase-III trial. Gains evened out as the day wore on, falling below 9.5 percent by early afternoon.

Phase-III Trial for Malaria Vaccine Shows Results

“I am delighted that GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) RTS,S malaria vaccine candidate, which contains Agenus’ QS-21 Stimulon® adjuvant, has demonstrated the ability to help protect young children and infants from malaria infection,” wrote Agenus Chairman and CEO Dr. Garo Armen, Ph.D. in his blog.

The recently concluded Phase-III trial included over 15,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa and, after 18 months, resulted in 46 percent fewer malaria cases than would be expected without the treatment among children aged 5-17 months at their first vaccination. This included 36 percent fewer severe cases of malaria, and a 41 percent decrease in hospitalizations for malaria.

The trial also showed a  27 percent decrease in cases among children aged 6-12 weeks at their initial vaccination, along with a 15 percent decrease in severe cases and a 17 percent reduction in hospitalizations.

“These findings indicate that RTS,S has the potential to help prevent millions of malaria cases. We are very pleased that our QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant is a key component of AS01, a proprietary adjuvant system used in RTS,S,” said Armen at a conference in Durban, South African while presenting the results. “These results provide further support that QS-21 Stimulon can help advance challenging development programs targeting difficult diseases. Currently there are 21 development programs underway involving vaccines that include QS-21 Stimulon for many different types of cancer, infectious diseases and degenerative disorders.”

World-Changing Potential

A successful malaria vaccine has the potential to be one of the most important developments in medical science since the elimination of small pox. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 219 million cases of malaria worldwide with 600,000 people losing their lives to the parasite each year, most being children living in sub-Saharan Africa. As such, even modest results for a potential vaccine could have a tremendous effect on the health of that region and save hundreds of thousands of lives. Finding a viable preventive treatment has been a consuming passion for the entire medical community as well as philanthropists like former Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Bill Gates.

Stock price data is provided by IEX Cloud on a 15-minute delayed basis. Chart price data is provided by TradingView on a 15-minute delayed basis.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer.

Trending Articles

Bond Yields Have Risen Well Above Stock Dividend Yields. Are They a Buy?
We're at the Tail End of a Classic Video Game Stock Bust
Is Gold Really the Right Place for Your Money?
How Companies Can Succeed in AI Winter: Jeff Kagan
Utility Investing Is a Steady, Buy-and-Hold Play. Just Not in This Market
Why Nuclear Energy Is Now Part of The Road to Renewables
Our Inflation Nightmare Will Flatline in Six Months
California Wants 100% Electric Vehicles By 2035. Will Its Energy Grid Be Ready?

Market Movers

Sponsored Financial Content