Incyte, Agenus team up to create better cancer treatments

Incyte and Agenus recently announced a global license, development and commercialization agreement that will focus on groundbreaking immuno-therapeutics using Agenus’ Retrocyte Display antibody discovery techniques.

The finalization of the transaction is contingent on the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

“This alliance with Agenus adds therapeutic antibody capabilities to our proven small-molecule discovery expertise, significantly expands the landscape of potential immuno-oncology targets available to us, and strengthens our ability to identify and advance novel therapeutic combinations,” Incyte President and CEO Hervé Hoppenot said.

Agenus Chairman and CEO Garo Armen agrees.

“Incyte’s track record of success in oncology development and commercialization, together with our therapeutic antibody expertise and the commonality of our objectives, speak to the compelling strategic rationale for this alliance,” Armen said. “Our Retrocyte Display technology has produced high-quality antibody candidates and offers significant advantages over competing technologies. With Incyte, we believe we have an ideal partner to help define the evolving treatment paradigm of cancer immunotherapies.”

The alliance will focus on the development of checkpoint modulator antibodies directed against GITR, OX40, LAG-3 and TIM-3, with the first clinical trials expected to start in 2016.

The terms of the agreement have Incyte making up-front payments to Agenus of $25 million and investing $35 million by purchasing approximately 7.76 million newly issued shares of Agenus stock at $4.51 per share.