ARMO Biosciences (ARMO) listed in January 2018 at $17 per share. The company had a phase III pancreatic cancer drug in AMO010, a recombinant form of human interleukin 10 (IL-10). There is no effective drug to treat pancreatic cancer.
AMO010 demonstrated the ability to activate anti-tumor CD8+ T cells in early clinical trials, an important action for cancer immunotherapies now in development at many drug companies. The company also was testing AMO010 in pancreatic cancer, one of the most aggressive forms of cancer. In a trial of 21 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, ARMO said no tumor growth was observed in 74% of the patients and 43% experienced prolong survival. The impressive results pointed to a successful outcome of the phase III trial in the fourth quarter of 2018.
ARMO shares rose as high as 50 in the first two months after it listed, partly because of the near term, late-stage trial results and also rumors that a buyer for ARMO could be looming. ARMO CEO Peter Van Vlasselaer had been part of several management teams at companies that were previously sold, most recently at True North Pharmaceuticals, which was purchased by Bioverative [BIVV] in May 2017.
SanaCurrents forecast a successful outcome for the phase III trial on April 13, 2018, when the stock was at 28.94. Eli Lilly agreed to purchase ARMO at $50 per share on May 10, reflecting a 72% return in less than one month.
What exactly did this mean for investors in ARMO shares? In less than 1 month, they netted at least $7,200 on a $10,000 investment after SanaCurrents’ initial forecast.