Arcus Bio Pulls Off IPO, Raises $120M for Cancer Immunotherapies

Xconomy San Francisco — 

Arcus Biosciences has raised $120 million from an initial public offering as the cancer immunotherapy developer looks ahead to reporting its first clinical data for its two lead drugs later this year.

Hayward, CA-based Arcus priced its offering of 8 million shares at $15 apiece, at the high end of the $13 to $15 per share range it had previously set. Those shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange later today under the stock symbol “RCUS.”

Arcus is led by CEO Terry Rosen (pictured above) and president Juan Jaen, who were the founders of cancer immunotherapy developer Flexus Biosciences. Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) acquired Flexus in 2015 for $800 million up front.

Soon after the Flexus acquisition closed, Rosen and Jaen formed Arcus. Last fall, Arcus started a Phase 1 study testing a small molecule drug called AB928. The drug blocks receptors for adenosine, a substance produced by tumors that suppresses the immune system. A second compound, AB122, is an antibody drug that blocks a protein called PD-1, a so-called “checkpoint protein” that cancers use to evade detection by the immune system. Arcus expects to report Phase 1 data for AB928 in the second quarter of this year. Data from the AB122 study are expected by the third quarter.

As of Dec. 31, Arcus reported having $175 million in cash. The company says in its prospectus that the money raised from the IPO will be used to advance its two lead drugs, as well as its pipeline of pre-clinical compounds. The company expects that the IPO proceeds, along with its cash reserves, will be enough to last through 2020.