Pharma Giant Gilead Raises Stake In Cancer-Focused Arcus Biosciences, Stock Soars

Gilead Sciences, Inc. -1.07%
Arcus Biosciences -1.55%

Gilead Sciences, Inc.

GILD

64.98

-1.07%

Arcus Biosciences

RCUS

15.87

-1.55%

Arcus Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:RCUS) shares are trading higher after Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) amended their collaboration agreement and announced a separate equity investment of $320 million in Arcus stock at $21.00 per share

The equity investment and collaboration amendment enable accelerated growth of the companies’ joint development programs that span multiple indications. 

Additionally, Johanna Mercier, Chief Commercial Officer at Gilead Sciences, will join the Arcus Board, bringing Gilead’s total director designees to three. 

Also Read: Positive News For Gastric Cancers – Gilead/Arcus Biosciences’ Combination Cancer Therapy Shows Encouraging Clinical Activity.

Gilead and Arcus have reprioritized the joint domvanalimab development program to focus on advancing and potentially accelerating the Phase 3 studies STAR-121 (lung cancer) and STAR-221 (gastrointestinal cancer), which are both expected to be fully enrolled by year-end. 

This prioritization focuses on domvanalimab-containing regimen research in areas where it may have a significant impact in combination with chemotherapy.

The companies also plan to initiate STAR-131, a new registrational Phase 3 lung cancer study including the domvanalimab and zimberelimab regimen. 

“The additional investment by Gilead, which extends our cash runway into 2027, will enable us to fund our Phase 3 studies of quemliclustat in pancreatic cancer and AB521 in kidney cancer, as well as to begin preparation for our first potential product approvals,” said Terry Rosen, Chief Executive Officer, Arcus. 

Additional changes during this prioritization will include discontinuing further enrollment in the Phase 3 ARC-10 study evaluating domvanalimab plus zimberelimab compared to pembrolizumab monotherapy in first-line locally advanced or metastatic, PD-L1-high NSCLC. 

The discontinuation of the ARC-10 study is based on strategic prioritization to advance and accelerate the Phase 3 studies STAR-121 and STAR-221.

Also, under the terms of the amended collaboration agreement, the planned Phase 3 first-line study in pancreatic cancer evaluating the investigational small molecule CD73 inhibitor quemliclustat will become an Arcus-independent study.

Price Action: RCUS shares are up 15.20% at $17.63 during the premarket session on the last check Tuesday. GILD shares closed at $79.07 on Monday.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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