LEXINGTON, Mass., Jan. 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Agenus Inc. (NASDAQ: AGEN), an immuno-oncology (I-O) company with a pipeline of immune modulating antibodies, cancer vaccines, adjuvants and adoptive cell therapies1, announced today, the upcoming launch of its Biotech Electronic Security Token (BEST), the first digital security offering in healthcare. Tokenization will enable qualified investors to directly invest in a single biotech product while preserving shareholder equity.
The growing adoption of blockchain technology, together with the latest financial regulatory changes, offers new alternatives to fund selected products with digital securities and opens an unprecedented opportunity to target financial investments in pharmaceutical product development.
"Today, by announcing the first of its kind asset backed digital security offering in healthcare, we open the doors for a transformative financing vehicle," said Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO of Agenus. "We believe this unique structure will pave the way for allowing targeted investment by qualified investors in the development of therapeutic products. This instrument, powered by blockchain technology, enables us to revolutionize the financing of drug development."
Each token to be issued will represent a portion of potential future US sales of AGEN2034, Agenus' anti-PD-1 antibody, now in pivotal clinical trials, and is entitled to a defined return claimable through token-by-token redemption starting with the first US commercial sale of AGEN2034. Qualified investors will be eligible to purchase BEST securities under preferred terms in the initial stage of the Digital Security Offering. Investments into this unique financing mechanism of up to $100M will accelerate the development, commercialization, distribution, and indication expansion for anti-PD-1, AGEN2034.
This type of innovation directly links Agenus' mission of speeding the development of immuno-oncology therapies, advancing more combination trials, and expanding its reach to additional indications. The company's recently announced collaboration with Gilead provides $150M in up-front cash and approximately $1.7 Billion in future fees and milestones to fund activities. Introducing BEST expands its product specific financing options for drug development while providing investors with an attractive risk-return profile.
Agenus anticipates the industry will adopt this financing model as an attractive means of obtaining capital in coming years. BEST is expected to lead the emergence of a new marketplace for asset-specific securities providing investors with unique funding alternatives and options for managing risk. Agenus expects to open investment in BEST to qualified investors in mid-February. Terms and conditions of the offering will be described in the company's offering documents at that time. Investor validation and participation will be managed through Atomic Capital's Platform.
The announcement will be made today, in a presentation by Dr. Garo Armen at the Atomic Capital Event: Digital Assets for Professional Investors in New York, NY.
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, proprietary cancer vaccine platforms, and adoptive cell therapies (through its AgenTus Therapeutics subsidiary). 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 early phase 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
Biotech Electronic Security Tokens (BEST) are blockchain based securities that will be issued in accordance with Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933, which will entitle the holder to a defined multiple of the original purchase price upon redemption, that may be claimed starting with the first US commercial sale of the underlying asset.
BEST holders will benefit from downside protection provisions including a capital recall feature allowing them to reclaim a substantial portion of the original purchase price at any time following initial investment while retaining a stake in the security's upside that would result in a "make whole" outcome if the underlying project is successful.
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 terms, timing, size and impact of Agenus' potential BEST offering, the potential approval and commercialization of AGEN2034. 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.
Jennifer Buell, PhD
1Through AgenTus Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Agenus
SOURCE Agenus Inc.