Antigenics CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Antigenics Inc. ( AGEN)

Q4 2010 Earnings Conference Call

February 17, 2011, 11:00 am ET

Executives

Garo Armen – Chairman & CEO

Analysts

Ren Benjamin – Rodman

Shamma Freeman [ph]

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Tracy, and I’ll be your conference operator today. At this time I would like to welcome everyone to the Fourth-Quarter and Year-Ended 2010 Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers’ remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator instructions) Thank you.

I would now like to introduce and turn the call over to Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO of Agenus. You may begin your conference.

Garo Armen

Thank you, and very good morning everyone. Welcome to Agenus conference call to discuss the financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. With me today is Shalini Sharp, Vice President and CFO. Normally, Shalini does the financial part of the call, but she has partially lost her voice, so I will chip in today but she will be available for questions.

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 it up to question and answers.

Before we continue, I would like to remind you that this conference call will contain certain forward-looking statements including, without limitation, 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 product 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 these risks and uncertainties is made in today’s press release and they are disclosed in more detail in our most recent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.

For the purpose of this call, the phrase “net cash burn” means the cash used in operating activities plus capital expenditures, debt repayments, and dividend payments.

As a reminder, this call is being recorded for audio replay.

With that I’ll now review our financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2010. For the quarter ended December 31, 2010 Agenus incurred a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $2.6 million or $0.03 per share. This compares with net income of $1.7 million or $0.02 per share for the same period in 2009.

For the year ended December 31, 2010, the company incurred a net loss of $22.7 million or $0.23 per share, compared with $31.1 million or $0.39 per share for the comparable period in 2009.

Agenus recognized revenues for the year ended December 31, 2010 of approximately $3.4 million, compared with approximately $3.3 million during the same period in 2009.

Research and development expenses for the year ended 2010were approximately $12.9 million, compared with approximately $17 million for the comparable period in 2009. General and administrative expenses for the full year 2010 were approximately $12.1 million compared with approximately $14.1 million for the full year 2009. These decreases reflect among other items our cost containment efforts.

Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were approximately $19.8 million as of December 31, 2010. The company’s net cash burn for the year-ended December 31, 2010 and 2009 were approximately $15.7 million and $25.2 million respectively.

The 2010 results primarily reflect the company’s continuing support of the Oncophage or the old Oncophage Series not Prophage Series, all cancer vaccines as well as its cost containment efforts. Net cash burn for 2011 is projected to be in the range of $16 million to $18 million.

I would like to highlight that we have retired all but the last 100,000 of our $50 million, 5.25% convertible subordinated note which was incurred in 2005. The last of this transaction was consummated during the fourth quarter of 2010 when we exchanged approximately 8.9 million shares of common stock and 6.4 million in cash for approximately 17.595 million of the notes outstanding.

Finally, I would like to mention that during the fourth quarter of 2010 we were awarded approximately $424,000 worth of grant under the IRS's Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project.

Under the program projects were selected by the Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services and in order to qualify projects had to incur preclinical and clinical research course during 2009 and 2010, and be designed to result in one or more new therapies to treat or prevent a disease or condition representing in our medical needs.

In addition, reduced long-term healthcare cost in the U.S. and demonstrate the potential to enhance U.S. competitiveness and create high quality jobs in the U.S..

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

As you are aware, we are excited to announce the change of our company name this quarter from Antigenics to Agenus. The new name reflects broadening of our product portfolio and clinical candidate beyond autologous antigen based vaccine as well as our commitment to actively pursuing licensing opportunities to leverage our development capabilities and expand our product portfolio.

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