NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of immunology company Agenus (AGEN) - Get Agenus Inc. Report touched a 52-week high of $7.98 on Monday after it announced that the results of a Phase III study of GlaxoSmithKline's (GSK) - Get GlaxoSmithKline plc Sponsored ADR Report malaria vaccine, which contains Agenus' QS-21, had been published in The Lancet.
The data showed a statistically significant reduction of malaria in children who received the vaccine candidate called RTS,S, as well as a booster shot of the vaccine at 18 months. RTS,S contains QS-21 Stimulon, Agenus' adjuvant designed to increase the immune response to antigens in vaccines.
The late-stage trial also showed that RTS,S reduced the number of cases of clinical malaria in young children aged five to 17 months at first vaccination by 36% and in infants aged six to 12 weeks by 26% over an average follow-up period of 48 months.
This led to an average reduction of 1,774 cases of clinical malaria for every 1,000 children (aged five to 17 months) vaccinated, and an average reduction of 983 cases for every 1,000 infants vaccinated over an average 36-month follow-up. Children who received the vaccine candidate but not a booster shot had lower rates of protection.
Finally, the study demonstrated that RTS,S avoided even more cases of malaria in areas with higher transmission rates.
"We're proud to be a part of this malaria vaccine initiative, which has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year," said Agenus Chairman and CEO Garo Armen, Ph.D."These compelling results demonstrate for the first time that a vaccine and adjuvant can significantly reduce suffering by young children in areas hardest hit by malaria."
"We look forward to RTS,S potentially achieving regulatory approval and being made available to the millions of children who are at risk of severe malaria in sub-Saharan African countries," Armen continued.
More than 4.7 million shares had changed hands as of 3 p.m., compared to the daily average volume of 1,078,650.