Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ:AGEN), an immuno-oncology (I-O) company with an extensive pipeline of agents designed to activate immune response to cancers, today announced the closing of a $20 million equity investment, at $4.03 per share, by Betta Pharmaceuticals (SZ300558) bringing the total received to $35M. Betta is a top Chinese pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of innovative oncology therapies. The equity investment by Betta Pharmaceuticals is part of the broader immuno-oncology (I-O) partnership that Agenus and Betta Pharmaceuticals announced last month.
Under the partnership Agenus is also eligible to receive up to $100 million in potential milestones plus royalties on net sales. In exchange Betta received exclusive rights for the development and commercialization of balstilimab and zalifrelimab, as both monotherapies and combination therapies, excluding intravesical delivery, in greater China, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Agenus' balstilimab (anti-PD-1) is planned for a BLA filing this year. Trials for balstilimab alone and in combination with zalifrelimab (anti-CTLA-4) have already completed accrual and follow up of all patients. The US FDA granted Fast Track designation for balstilimab alone and in combination with zalifrelimab in this indication and the molecules are eligible for US FDA Priority Review.