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Arcus Surges As Executive Transfer Could Signal Deeper Gilead Partnership

An Arcus Biosciences (RCUS) executive jumped ship for a role at Gilead Sciences (GILD), but RCUS stock popped Tuesday on expectations for a closer relationship between the partnered biotech companies.




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Arcus Chief Medical Officer Bill Grossman will resign effective July 26, and become the senior vice president of oncology clinical research at Gilead. Arcus and Gilead have a 10-year partnership to develop and commercialize next-generation cancer immunotherapies.

“We see this as an opportunity to further strengthen the relationship between Arcus and Gilead, creating the possibility of greater (research and development) synergy and alignment in the ongoing 10-year partnership between the companies,” Mizuho Securities analyst Mara Goldstein said in a note to clients.

In afternoon trading on today’s stock market, RCUS stock surged 10.8%, near 32.80. The move Tuesday also put RCUS stock decidedly above its 50-day moving average, according to MarketSmith.com.

RCUS Stock Pops On Transition

In his new role, Grossman will oversee Gilead’s clinical-stage oncology portfolio, Arcus said in a news release. He will also be Arcus’ point of contact at Gilead for development activities across the partnered drugs. Arcus Senior Vice President of Clinical Development Kartik Krishnan will take over all of Arcus’ clinical development programs.

“This move reinforces both companies’ commitment to working together to advance important new medicines for people with cancer,” Arcus said in its release.

Mizuho’s Goldstein kept her buy rating and 43 price target on RCUS stock.

“We do not see this as a negative for Arcus’ pipeline given the long-term nature of the partnership between the two companies,” she said.

Follow Allison Gatlin on Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.

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