Aduro BioTech Inc (NASDAQ:ADRO) shares look set to gap higher this morning, which likely comes as a relief for shareholders who have been under pressure of late. The company just announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement with
Eli Lilly and Company (LLY) for Aduro’s cGAS-STING Pathway Inhibitor program for the research and development of novel immunotherapies for autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases.

According to the release, “Aduro’s cGAS-STING Pathway Inhibitor program aims to discover and develop inhibitors of the intracellular stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway, which can modulate the immune response associated with various autoimmune diseases. As part of the agreement, Lilly will gain access to novel molecules from Aduro that are designed to inhibit the cGAS-STING pathway. The companies will collaborate to advance these molecules, as well as others from Lilly, into clinical development.”

Aduro BioTech Inc (NASDAQ:ADRO) trumpets itself as an immunotherapy company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of therapies that transform the treatment of challenging diseases.

The company is developing ADU-S100, which is in Phase I monotherapy study, as well as in Phase 1b combination study with an anti-PD1 immune checkpoint inhibitor; ADU-214 that is in Phase I clinical trials for the treatment of lung cancer; and ADU-741 for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Its products pipeline also comprises BION-1301, a B-select monoclonal antibody novel therapy for multiple myeloma; A PRoliferation-Inducing Ligand for the treatment of multiple myeloma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and colorectal carcinoma; CD27, a co-stimulatory receptor for the treatment of cancer; and CTLA-4 for the treatment of advanced melanoma and other cancers.

The company’s pLADD program is based on proprietary attenuated strains of Listeria that have been engineered to express tumor neo antigens that are specific to an individual patient’s tumor. It has collaboration agreements with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Janssen Biotech, Inc, and Merck.

The company was formerly known as Oncologic, Inc. and changed its name to Aduro BioTech, Inc. in June 2008. Aduro BioTech, Inc. was founded in 2000 and is based in Berkeley, California.


Gas Pedal

As we discussed earlier, ADRO just announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement for Aduro’s cGAS-STING Pathway Inhibitor program for the research and development of novel immunotherapies for autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases.

While it isn’t really clear that the announcement has had all that much of an impact on the stock’s behavior, it is still something to account for. And it plays into a positive near-term tape, with ADRO shareholders riding a recent rally of just about 4% over the past five days of trading action.

“As we continue to strengthen our leadership in the STING pathway at Aduro, we are thrilled to collaborate with Lilly to identify and develop novel cGAS-STING pathway inhibitors,” said Stephen T. Isaacs, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Aduro. “This partnership represents an exceptional opportunity to leverage Lilly’s expertise in immunology while expanding the potential for our technology into therapeutic approaches for autoimmune and other inflammatory diseases.”

Aduro BioTech Inc (NASDAQ:ADRO) generated sales of $3.1M, according to information released in the company’s most recent quarterly financial report. That adds up to a sequential quarter-over-quarter growth rate of 16.1% on the top line.

In addition, the company has a strong balance sheet, with cash levels far exceeding current liabilities ($265.8M against $30.9M).

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