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In The Spotlight: ARMO BioSciences

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Since its public debut in January of this year, ARMO Biosciences Inc. (ARMO) has gained more than 50% in sharp contrast to the iShares NASDAQ Biotechnology Index's (ETF)(IBB) measly return of 1.23%.

ARMO is a late-stage immuno-oncology company, whose lead compound AM0010 is under phase III study in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, or PDAC, is the most common type of pancreatic cancer, and is one of the most aggressive human cancers. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and use of targeted drugs are the treatment options for PDAC.

A phase III study comparing the efficacy of AM0010 in combination with FOLFOX chemo versus FOLFOX chemo alone in patients with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas who have progressed on one prior Gemcitabine containing regimen is underway.

The study, dubbed SEQUOIA, was initiated in October 2016, and is actively enrolling patients. The first interim analysis of this study is expected in early 2018.

AM0010 has been studied in a phase 1/1b clinical trial in more than 14 different types of cancer, including Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, and other solid tumors. Data readout from the phase 1/1b clinical trials will continue in the first half of 2018.

The Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer trial with AM0010 has progressed to phase II testing, and enrollment in the following phase trials began in Q1, 2018.

-- A phase II study comparing the efficacy of AM0010 in combination with Merck's Keytruda versus Keytruda alone in patients with metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, dubbed CYPRESS 1, and
-- A phase II study comparing the efficacy of AM0010 in combination with -Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s (BMY) Opdivo versus Opdivo alone in patients with metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, dubbed CYPRESS 2.

Initial data read-outs on CYPRESS 1 and CYPRESS 2 are expected in late 2018.

The Company plans to initiate phase II study of AM0010 in renal cell carcinoma in the second half of this year.

Also in the pipeline are immuno-oncology product candidates AM0001; AM0003; AM0015 and AM0012.

AM0001 is expected to enter into phase I development by year-end 2018.

ARMO went public on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on January 26, 2018, offering its shares at a price of $17.00 each. The stock opened at nearly 65% premium above the offering price, reaching a high of $32.82, before closing at $29.74 that day.

ARMO has thus far hit a low of $27.00 and a high of $57.19.

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