This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Biotech Stock Mailbag: Agenus, Aegerion, Ariad

Stocks in this article: AGEN AEGR ARIA AMGN

BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- An email from Steven B. about Agenus (AGEN) kicks off this week's Biotech Stock Mailbag:

I was looking at Agenus. I know you have been negative in the past. Any change of opinion with recent developments?

Agenus is awful. The company needed a temporary spike in its stock price this week so it could go out and raise some quick cash. On Tuesday, Agenus issued a press release touting "follow on" results from a mid-stage study of its brain cancer vaccine. Except these new drug data were actually stale, having been previously reported by the company in May.

No matter. Some investors were fooled and bid up Agenus shares 30%-plus intraday Tuesday. After Tuesday's close, Agenus rushed out a quickie stock offering priced at $3 per share (including one-third warrant coverage) and raising $10 million.

Nicely played, Agenus. The bloody mess in the corner is what remains of your credibility, but no matter, cash raised. Until next time.

Meantime, Seeking Alpha contributor Larry Smith hails Agenus' brain cancer vaccine results as "extremely impressive." Let's unpack this claim:

The phase II study enrolled 46 patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme treated with Prophage (that's Agenus' cancer vaccine) plus the current standard of care -- radiation therapy plus the drug temozolomide.

Analysis of the study data showed a median overall survival of 23.3 months, according to Agenus on Tuesday and last May. There is no comparator arm in this study, which means drawing any conclusion about a potential survival advantage for Prophage is impossible.

No matter, because Agenus decides to compare Prophage's survival data with a much larger study of newly diagnosed GBM patients published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005. This so-called "Stupp study" showed a median overall survival of 14.6 months for newly diagnosed GBM patients treated with radiation and temozolomide, thereby establishing the current standard of care.

Prophage's median overall survival of 23.3 months is much longer than 14.6 months reported for the current standard of care, so therefore Prophage must be working.


The problem with comparing data across different clinical trials is that patients' baseline characteristics are different. That is true in this case.

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs