Arcus to raise $99M IPO; Vanda wants marketing approval for jet lag

→ Clinical-stage cancer immunotherapy maker Arcus Biosciences has set out to raise $99 million in an IPO, offering 7.1 million shares at a price range of $13 to $15 per share. At the midpoint of that range, the company would get a market value of $600 million, according to Renaissance Capital. The company plans to list on the NYSE under the ticker $RCUS. The IPO is expected to price on March 12. Based in Hayward, California, Arcus’s portfolio includes AB928, a dual antagonist of adenosine receptors; AB122, a monoclonal antibody that blocks PD-1; AB680, an inhibitor of CD73 responsible for the extracellular production of adenosine within the tumor micro-environment; and AB154, a monoclonal antibody that blocks a novel immune checkpoint.

Vanda Pharmaceuticals $VNDA says that its drug approved for a rare sleep disorder, Tetlioz (tasimelteon), came through in a study for jet lag. The study induced jet lag conditions in more than 300 healthy patients to test the drug. And now the company plans to submit an application to sell the rare disease therapy for a relatively minor condition that afflicts millions. Payers are likely to have plenty to say about this if they get to weigh in on it.

→ Following a meeting with the FDA, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals says that it has a deal on a pivotal study for controlling symptoms of Fragile X. The biotech is developing a cannabidiol patch designed to help rein in a set of severe symptoms that include a few that would be ideal for a cannabis-based product, including anxiety and hyperactivity. Starting mid-year, the Phase III will rely on data collected by caregivers, a far cry from the standard statistical rigor that requires observation by an independent observer. There are no drugs approved for treating Fragile X.

Boehringer Ingelheim has expanded its collaboration with Austrian biotech ViraTherapeutics with a second oncolytic virus product candidate. The program combines a vesicular stomatitis virus based on Vira’s platform tech with an immunotherapeutics component from Boehringer, which will pick up the tab for all R&D costs. The collaboration, which began in 2016, gives the German pharma the right to acquire Vira all the way up to the end of PhI development.

With additional reporting from Brittany Meiling and Amber Tong.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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