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Antigenics Inc. (AGEN) Receives Russian Approval of Cancer Vaccine

U.S. based Antigenics (AGEN-NASDAQ) announced on Tuesday that the Russian Ministry of Public Health has issued a registration certificate for the use of Oncophage in the treatment of kidney cancer patients at intermediate risk for disease recurrence. The company expects to launch its Oncophage product in Russia sometime in the second half of 2008.

Antigenics is a biotechnology company which is developing products to treat cancer, infectious diseases, and autoimmune disorders. Their most advanced-stage product candidate is Oncophage. Oncophage is a personalized therapeutic cancer vaccine which is based on heat shock protein gp96. Antigenics is currently conducting clinical trials for a range of other products which will be used in the treatment of colorectal cancer, solid tumors, B-cell lymphoma, and genital herpes.

The Russian approval of Oncophage is a real achievement for Antigenics. It is the first personalized cancer vaccine to be made available in any major country. Antigenics is also looking to file for conditional approval of Oncophage in Europe sometime in 2008.

On the back of the positive investor reaction to the news, Antigenics has filed to raise $21 million in a private stock offering. The shares will be offered to private investors at $3 apiece. The proceeds will be used to finance marketing and regulatory costs for new products.

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