Source: Dr. Robert Driscoll

December 5, 2023 ( Newswire) Recently, Arcus Biosciences Inc. announced a partnership with Exelixis Inc., which may be the key to validating the company, noted WedBush analysts in a December 4 report.

Arcus Biosciences Inc. (RCUS:NYSE) and Exelixis Inc. (EXEL:NASDAQ) announced a collaboration to evaluate Arcus’ AB521 with Exelixis’ multi-TKI zanzalintinib with solid tumors and clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC), noted Wedbush Securities analysts Dr. Robert Driscoll, Sam Raina, Dr. Ritika Das, and Dr. Martin Fan in a December 4 WedBush report.

Novel Mechanisms in Combination

The planned Phase 1b/2 STELLAR-009 trial will test whether the combination of AB521, Arcus’ anti-TIGIT antibody, plus zanzalintinib, Exelixis’ next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitor, can drive improved efficacy over the individual agents.

Exelixis’ agent is intended to have an enhanced safety and tolerability profile over standard-of-care TKIs like cabozantinib. Early data showed promise, including a 38% objective response rate in renal cell carcinoma patients.

Analysts View Deal as Key Validation

The analysts see Arcus’ selection of AB521 rather than core asset domvanalimab for the zanzalintinib combo trial as external confirmation of AB521’s strong preclinical and early clinical profile.

With AB521 efficacy data upcoming in 2024 and multiple other pipeline candidates progressing in the clinic, Wedbush maintains an Outperform rating on Arcus with a US$36 price target.

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