Agenus Inc. (AGEN)

Q2 2011 Earnings Call

July 28, 2011 10:00 AM ET


Shalini Sharp – Vice President and CFO

Garo Armen – Chairman and CEO


Vernon Bernardino – Dawson James

Reni Benjamin – Rodman

Bryan Hares – Private Investor

Ernest Gabriel – Private Investor



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Good morning. My name is Tracy, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Agenus Second Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speaker’s remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions)

Thank you. And I’ll now introduce and turn the call over to Ms. Shalini Sharp, Vice President and CFO. You may begin your conference.

Shalini Sharp

Thank you and good morning, everyone. Welcome to Agenus’ conference call to discuss the financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2011. With me today is Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO.

We hope that all of you have had a chance to review the press release that was issued this morning. During this call, we will review our financial results, as well as provide a corporate update. We will then open up the call to a Q&A session.

But before I continue, I would like to remind you that this conference call will contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the company’s cash position, timing of potential income streams and development and commercialization efforts, timelines, availability of data and potential efficacy with respect to products and product candidates of the company and/or its licensees and partners.

These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. Reference to risks and uncertainties is made in today’s press release and they are disclosed in more detail in our more recent filing – in most recent filings with the U.S. SEC.

These statements speak only as of the date of this call and Agenus undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. When evaluating Agenus’ business and securities, investors should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties. As a reminder, this call is being recorded for audio replay.

With that, I will now review our financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2011. The company reported net loss attributable to common stockholders of $6 million or $0.05 per share basic and diluted for the second quarter of 2011, compared to a net loss attributable to common stockholders in the second quarter of 2010 of $5.2 million or $0.05 per share basic and diluted.

For the six months ended June 30, 2011, the company incurred a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $12.1 million or $0.11 per share basic and diluted, compared with a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $14.2 million or $0.15 per share basic and diluted for the comparable period in 2010.

The company’s net cash burn, which is cash used in operating activities plus capital expenditures and dividend payments for the second quarter of 2011 and 2010 was $4.2 million and $3.5 million, respectively. The 2011 net cash burn figure primarily reflects the company’s efforts to support the Prophage Series of cancer vaccines.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $12 million as of June 30, 2011.

This concludes the financial portion of the call. Garo will now provide a brief corporate update.

Garo Armen

Thank you, Shalini. I would like to begin this call by highlighting the fact that many of the clinical programs that have been under development for several years by us and by our partners are making significant progress and continue to mature.

This is a very exciting time for the company as we could hit as many as eight upcoming milestone events reported in the second half of this year through 2012 and all of which obviously could be great value to us and to our shareholders.

We are excited to be participating in the advancing Immunotherapy field with several steps the potential success in many vaccine candidates utilizing our platform and technology in the advantage of clinics and several are getting very close to potential commercialization.

It is important also note that beyond our saponin platform of QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant and our recombinant common series platform, which is represented with HerpV for the treatment of genital herpes. Agenus is well-positioned with its Prophage series of vaccines prevent it from recent advances in the field of cancer immunology and cancer vaccines.

The FDA approval for Prophage and ponezumab which represents very important immune system modifying drugs, validate the fact that in addition to preventing disease, immune based drugs can be successfully used in the treatment of cancer.

To start, I would like to now give you a brief overview of QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant, which is a part of our saponin platform. Adjuvants are an essential part of an effective vaccine as it enhance the ability of a vaccine to elicit strong and durable immune responses.

Key licensees of QS-21 include GlaxoSmithKline and JANSSEN Alzheimer Immunotherapy, which is a division of J&J. The programs under development by our partners are advancing and data from Phase 3 clinical trials of three vaccine candidates for malaria and [MAGE IIIA] in non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma are anticipated to be released in the second half of this year, as well as during 2012. A Phase 3 vaccine program for shingles continues to rapidly advance in the clinic.

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