Press Release

Agenus Announces Positive Preliminary Results of iNKT Cell Therapy Trial in COVID-19

February 4, 2021
  • 3 out of 4 intubated patients were discharged after treatment
  • 2 out of 4 patients were extubated within 24 hours of dosing

LEXINGTON, Mass., Feb. 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology company with an extensive pipeline of checkpoint antibodies, cell therapies, adjuvants, and vaccines designed to activate immune response to cancers and infections, today announced positive preliminary results from its Phase 1 trial of iNKT cell therapy in patients with moderate to severe symptoms of COVID-19 through its subsidiary, AgenTus Therapeutics.

AgenTus is actively accruing and treating patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 with its proprietary allogeneic iNKT cell therapy, with dose escalation underway. Preliminary data show that of the 4 patients dosed to date, 3 patients (75%) were extubated and released after treatment. Notably, 2 of these patients (50%) were extubated within 24 hours of dosing.

“We are heartened by these early results, which suggest that very sick patients who were admitted to intensive care units and intubated may benefit from a single administration of our iNKT cell therapy,” said Dr. Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO of Agenus. “iNKT cells can be manufactured at scale and so far patients in this trial have tolerated the treatment well.”

Dose escalation is expected to be completed in the first half of this year for an initiation into a Phase 2 trial with data readouts expected in the fourth quarter of this year.

About AgenTus Therapeutics, Inc.
AgenTus Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing allogeneic iNKT cell therapies to treat cancer and other life-threatening diseases. AgenTus also aims to advance adoptive cell therapy formats which would enable off-the-shelf living drugs. AgenTus has locations in Lexington, MA and Cambridge, UK. For more information, please visit www.agentustherapeutics.com.

About Agenus
Agenus is a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company focused on the discovery and development of therapies that engage the body's immune system to fight cancer. The Company's vision is to expand the patient populations benefiting from cancer immunotherapy by pursuing combination approaches that leverage a broad repertoire of antibody therapeutics, adoptive cell therapies (through its AgenTus Therapeutics subsidiary), and proprietary cancer vaccine platforms. The Company is equipped with a suite of antibody discovery platforms and a state-of-the-art GMP manufacturing facility with the capacity to support clinical programs. Agenus is headquartered in Lexington, MA. For more information, please visit www.agenusbio.com and our Twitter handle @agenus_bio. Information that may be important to investors will be routinely posted on our website and Twitter.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the federal securities laws, including statements regarding the anticipated timing of cell therapy clinical trials for COVID-19 patients, and the expected benefits to be observed in these trials. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include, among others, the factors described under the Risk Factors section of our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Agenus cautions investors not to place considerable reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this release. These statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and Agenus undertakes no obligation to update or revise the statements, other than to the extent required by law. All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Contact:
Agenus Inc. 
Caroline Bafundo        
212-994-8209
Caroline.Bafundo@agenusbio.com