Gilead, Arcus in $725-M Acquisition, Research Pact

Gilead Sciences has exercised options to acquire three clinical-stage programs from Arcus Biosciences, a Hayward, California bio/pharmaceutical company focused on cancer immunotherapies, for $725 million. The companies also entered into a research collaboration.

The clinical-stage programs include domvanalimab and AB308 (an anti-TIGIT program), etrumadenant (A2a/A2b adenosine receptor antagonist) and quemliclustat (small-molecule CD73 inhibitor).

Domvanalimab is an Fc-silent anti-TIGIT antibody in Phase II and Phase III studies in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). AB308 is an Fc-enabled anti-TIGIT antibody under Phase I evaluation. Etrumadenant is a dual adenosine A2a/A2b receptor antagonist in Phase I and Phase II studies in NSCLC, colon cancer, and prostate cancer. Quemliclustat is a small-molecule CD73 inhibitor in a Phase I study in metastatic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Under the agreement, for the three options that Gilead is exercising, Arcus will receive option payments totaling $725 million. The parties will co-develop and share the global costs related to these programs. If the optioned molecules achieve regulatory approval, Gilead and Arcus will co-commercialize and equally share profits in the US. Gilead will hold exclusive rights outside the US, subject to any rights of Arcus’s existing collaboration partners, and Gilead will pay to Arcus tiered royalties.

The transaction is subject to antitrust review and customary closing conditions. The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of the year (2021).

Source: Gilead Sciences and Arcus Biosciences