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Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN) deal sparks jump in price

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Biotech company Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN) announced today via press release they have entered into a collaboration the further their fight against Cancer.

The report indicates the collaboration is with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. The collaboration will be done through a subsidiary "for the discovery and development of therapeutic antibodies to immune checkpoints for the treatment of cancer", the press release states.

The report also indicates that "Under the terms of the agreement, Agenus is eligible to receive approximately $100 million in potential payments associated with the completion of certain clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones for two candidates from Merck. In addition, Agenus is eligible to receive royalty payments on worldwide product sales."

The news falls in line with the company's background, known for their focus on the development and commercialization of technologies to treat cancers and infectious diseases. The stock closed Friday at $2.59, but jumped to $3.06, up 0.50 (19.53%) in wake of the recent news. AGEN has a day's range of 2.72 - 3.12, and with a 52-week range of 2.27 - 5.40.

For many investors, the jump in price comes at no surprise, as Zachs Investment Research had predicted the recent price jump days earlier. According to a report from the Mideast Times published April 22, "Zacks upgraded shares of Agenus (NASDAQ:AGEN) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning, AnalystRatings.Net reports. The firm currently has $3.00 price target on the stock."

The price jump also brings the company's stock back to it's trading price investors are used to seeing from this company. The recent drop in prices (April 16 for example; $2.41) was its lowest for the year. However, there are no real indicators that the recent price jump will hold or fizzle out when the latest news becomes irrelevant. However, the news is welcomed good news to AGEN, who suffered a blow to the gut April 15 when it was reported a recent vaccine for non-small lung cancer trial failed.

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