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Argos Presents at Industry Conference

By Jim Pearce on September 26, 2016

Earlier this month Argos Therapeutics (ARGS) participated in the annual “NewsMakers in the Biotech Industry Conference” hosted by BioCentury, an industry media and publishing company. The purpose of the conference is to bring together corporate executives, journalists and investment banking firms to discuss current issues and new developments in the field of biomedicine.

Although Argos did not release a transcript of the presentation made by its CEO Jeff Abbey, the day after the conference it posted a PowerPoint slide presentation to its website that presumably was used by Mr. Abbey at the conference. Long story short, after reviewing this material we feel there is nothing in it that merits a change in our opinion of the company.

Now that Argos has cleared this hurdle, we think the company is in solid shape having successfully raised enough capital over the past six months to see it through the remainder of the trial period. It is worth noting that none of the six Wall Street investment banking firms that follow Argos has revised their opinion of the company since the conference, and their average price target for the stock of $12.17 also remains unchanged.

The company’s biggest institutional shareholder is Wasatch Advisors, a mutual fund management company based out of Salt Lake City that specializes in small-cap stocks. At this point what Argos needs to get its share price moving is more institutional sponsorship in the form of mutual fund purchase, but the company’s small-cap status ($193 million market cap) is a barrier for larger mutual funds that will only consider mid and large-cap stocks.

The presentation confirms the next meeting of the company’s IDMC (Independent Data Monitoring Committee) in February, at which time the decision to continue with its ADAPT trials will be made. Until then we do not expect any major news (other than its next quarterly earnings report due in mid-November), barring any unexpected events involving its trial subjects.

That means we do not expect a sudden change in Argos’ share price anytime soon, but as February approaches we may see its share price rise if it appears the IDMC is going to approve completion of the ADAPT trial. In the meantime, Argos remains a potential acquisition target due to the relatively low price tag for a major pharmaceutical company to buy the rights to the intellectual property surrounding its cancer immunotherapy treatments.

Argos remains a buy up to $8.

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