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Arcus Shares Soar on Report Gilead is Considering Acquiring Stake

GV-backed Arcus said to be in initial discussions to sell stake.
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Shares of Arcus Biosciences, Inc.  (RCUS) soared in late trading Wednesday after a report that Gilead Sciences, Inc.   (GILD) is in talks to acquire a stake in the cancer therapy researcher.

Arcus, which is backed in part by GV, Alphabet's  (GOOGL)  venture capital investment arm, did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Gilead is contemplating taking a stake and potential development pacts, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

Shares of Arcus rose $7.42, or 48%, to $23 in after-hours trading.

Gilead shares edged up 19 cents, or 0.25%, to $74.63.

Elsewhere, shares of companies known to be pursuing coronavirus treatments were mixed Wednesday.

Among notable coronavirus stocks, nine rose while 21 fell.

Vaxart  (VXRT)  shares rose 29 cents, or 16.57%, to $2.04. Vaxart is in preclinical stages of development of an oral vaccine. It is planning Phase 1 clinical trials sometime in the second half of the year.

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Moderna  (MRNA) shares rose $2.59, or 7.47%, to $37.25. Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to begin Phase 2 human trials in spring or early summer.

Kiniksa  (KNSA) shares rose 46 cents, or 2.68%, to $17.61. Kiniksa says it has seen positive preliminary results from its mavrilimumab monoclonal antibody in patients suffering from COVID-19.

Among coronavirus stocks lagging Wednesday, BioNTech  (BNTX)  ADRs fell $3.05, or 7.33%, to $38.58. BioNTech is moving to start clinical trials of its potential COVID-19 vaccine later this month. It is working with Pfizer  (PFE)  on development and distribution.

Dynavax  (DVAX) shares fell 17 cents, or 5.23%, to $3.08. Dynavax is working with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to give companies access to its adjuvant technology which can boost vaccine effectiveness.

CytoDyn CYDY, which trades over the counter saw its shares fall 11 cents, or 4.38%, to $2.40. CytoDyn is moving into Phase 2 trials of an experimental drug called leronlimab to treat respiratory complications in patients with COVID-19.

In the broader markets, the S&P 500 index fell 62.70 points, or 2.2%, to 2,783.36.The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 122.56 points, or 1.44%, to 8,393.18.

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