Antigenics (AGEN) Looks Primed to Move Print E-mail
By Vinny Cassano   
Monday, 05 October 2009 03:00

Shares of Antigenics continued to trade for near two dollars on Monday, a price attractive enough where I felt it was worth adding a few more shares of the stock.

Antigenics is due to release news regarding the commercial launch in Russia of its kidney cancer vaccine Oncophage in the fourth quarter of this year and that news will most likely be accompanied by an announcement that the Russian government intends to reimburse some costs of administering the vaccine to patients. Additionally, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) is reviewing Oncophage for a possible conditional approval in Europe.

Previously, Oncophage failed to meet the endpoints of a late stage Phase III trial and therefore never made it to the FDA for an approval decision. However, a subset group of patients who had received Oncophage earlier along in disease progression were shown to benefit from the vaccine and Russia granted approval based on that subset. As longer term follow-up data continues to be analyzed, the evidence is there that Oncophage works.

As cancer immunotherapy treatments become more widely accepted after the rise of Dendreon (DNDN) and that company's prostate cancer vaccine Provenge, popular opinion is shifting to the belief that the vaccines will work better if they have a healthier immune system off which to feed - as was the case with the subset of patients in the Oncophage trial.

In addition to the potential of Oncophage, Antigenics also has QS-21 to offer. QS-21 is a vaccine adjuvant currently being used in various vaccines being produced by various licensees of Antigenics, including GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

The Antigenics stock is already a huge gainer this year and I believe that it still has more room to move up based on the potential of the aforementioned products.

Disclosure: Long AGEN.

Vinny Cassano also authors the popular investing website VFC's Stock House.

 




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