ARMO BioSciences (NASDAQ: ARMO)
Shares of ARMO Biosciences rallied 77.6% before the bell Thursday following news that Indiana-based Eli Lilly will acquire the drug-cancer firm for $50 a share, or $1.6 billion in cash.
ARMO is developing proprietary product candidates and immune-oncology programs that are aimed at activating the immune systems of cancer patients to identify and eliminate tumors. Matthew Luchini an analyst at BMO Capital Markets predicts the stock will hit $75 mark in the next twelve months. The analyst says that ARMO’s lead product is a “blockbuster potential.”
Lilly will enhance its own immune-oncology programs after acquiring ARMO and its lead product candidates, which have demonstrated clinical benefits as single agents, and in combination with both checkpoint inhibitor therapy and chemotherapy, across several types of tumors.
ARMO’s lead candidate product, Pegilodecakin, is presently being experimented in a phase-3 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer, and earlier-phase trials in renal cell and lung cancer. The company also has several other immuno-oncology products in various phases of pre-clinical development.
Eli Lilly Executive Comments
President of Lilly Oncology Sue Mahony made the following remarks regarding the acquisition: “At Lilly Oncology, we are dedicated to developing cancer medicines that will make a meaningful difference for patients. The acquisition of ARMO BioSciences adds a promising next-generation clinical immunotherapy asset to Lilly’s portfolio of innovative oncology medicines.”
The company’s senior vice president medical affairs and global development also commented on the deal saying: “As we develop our immuno-oncology portfolio, Lilly will pursue medicines that use the body’s immune system in new ways to treat cancer. We believe that Pegilodecakin has a unique immunologic mechanism of action that could eventually allow physicians to offer new hope for many cancer patients.”
ARMO BioSciences CEO Comments
On his part, ARMO BioSciences President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Van Vlasselaer released the following statement: “ARMO is proud of the work we have done to advance the study of immunotherapies and of the development of Pegilodecakin to-date. Given the resources that Lilly, a leader in oncology R&D, can bring to bear to maximize the value of Pegilodecakin and the rest of the ARMO pipeline, we believe it is in the best interest of ARMO, our stockholders and the patients we serve, to execute this transaction.”
ARMO BioSciences, Inc. Company Profile
ARMO BioSciences is an immuno-oncology firm that engages in the development of novel product candidates, which are aimed at activating the immune systems of cancer patients to identify and eliminate tumors.
The company’s lead product candidate is Pegilodecakin and is currently in Phase 3 clinical trial for pancreatic cancer treatment. The company is also creating Pegilodecakin that has completed earlier-phase clinical trials for the treatment of renal cell carcinoma, breast, melanoma, and colorectal cancer.
ARMO BioSciences is based in Redwood City, California. The company was founded by John B. Mumm, Martin Oft, and Peter Van Vlasselaer in 2010. It was previously known as Targenics, Inc. before changing to its present name in 2012. –Reuters