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Arcus Biosciences: Taiho Exercises Option For Exclusive License To Anti-TIGIT Program

Arcus Biosciences, Inc. (RCUS), a clinical-stage, biopharmaceutical company, announced Tuesday that Taiho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. exercised its option for anti-TIGIT antibodies program in Japan and Certain Territories in Asia, excluding China.

Taiho, an R&D driven specialty pharma company with a focus on oncology, exercised its option for anti-TIGIT antibodies domvanalimab and AB308 from Arcus Biosciences.

The option exercise is based on an option and license agreement between Taiho and Arcus contracted in September 2017. Taiho has already obtained exclusive rights to etrumadenant, AB928, an adenosine A2a/A2b receptor antagonist, and zimberelimab, AB122, an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody. This is the third option exercise to an Arcus program.

Taiho will make an option exercise payment in exchange for the exclusive license. It will also make additional payments upon achievement of clinical, regulatory and commercialization milestones, and, if any products from the program are approved, will pay royalties on net sales of such products.

Domvanalimab is an Fc-silent anti-TIGIT antibody currently under development by Arcus. Similar to PD-1, TIGIT is an immune checkpoint receptor that is expressed on immune cells such as T cells and NK cells. By binding to its ligand CD155, expressed on tumor cells, TIGIT suppresses anti-tumor immune responses, which are thought to be involved with poor prognosis in various types of cancers.

Domvanalimab is believed to activate anti-tumor immune responses by blocking CD155 from binding to TIGIT, making it possible for CD155 to bind to and trigger the activating receptor CD226.

Domvanalimab is being developed primarily as a combination therapy with anti-PDx checkpoint inhibitors.

The Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials of domvanalimab in combination with zimberelimab are currently being conducted by Arcus in first-line metastatic PD-L150% non-small cell lung cancer.

Further, a Phase 3 trial (PACIFIC-8) of domvanalimab in combination with durvalumab (Imfinzi, AstraZeneca) is being initiated in Stage III non-small cell lung cancer. Development in other cancer types is also being planned.

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