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Arcus Biosciences, Strata Oncology Team Up to Advance Anti-PD-1 Drug

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Pharmaceutical firm Arcus Biosciences and precision oncology firm Strata Oncology have entered into a clinical development collaboration in which they will use Strata's biomarker technology to identify responders to Arcus' clinical-stage anti-PD-1 antibody AB122 among a variety of tumor types that don't normally show response to such drugs.

Under the partnership, Arcus will gain access to Strata's drug development platform. The companies will evaluate AB122 across Strata's Precision Oncology Network of trial-ready health systems, which employ the company's comprehensive next-generation sequencing test to pre-screen advanced cancer populations for enrollment in precision therapy trials.

The partners said they will share development costs for the clinical collaboration, and that Strata will be eligible to receive $2.5 million upon the achievement of a development milestone, as well as regulatory and commercial milestones. The genomics firm would also receive royalties on US net sales of AB122 in a resulting biomarker-identified indication.

According to the partners, Arcus has also issued Strata an undisclosed number of restricted shares of its common stock, which are subject to vesting based upon the achievement of regulatory milestones within certain timelines.

"The use of [Strata's] proprietary biomarkers and access to the Precision Oncology Network provide a potential opportunity to identify patient populations underserved by existing PD-1 therapies," Arcus CEO Terry Rosen said in a statement. "We intend to efficiently pursue targeted opportunities to bring cost-effective anti-PD-1 therapy to cancer patients otherwise not benefiting from this therapeutic class," he added.

AB122 is currently being evaluated in an ongoing Phase I monotherapy dose-escalation trial in patients with advanced tumors and ongoing Phase I/Ib combination trials evaluating AB122 in combination with other drugs.