Clinical-stage product candidates, casdozokitug and CHS-114, significantly advance next-generation immuno-oncology portfolio focused on the tumor microenvironment


I-O combinations will potentially expand toripalimab opportunity into large indications with high unmet need. (Credit: Adam Radosavljevic from Pixabay)

Coherus BioSciences, Inc. (Coherus, Nasdaq: CHRS) today announced the closing of the previously announced acquisition of Surface Oncology, Inc. (Surface or Surface Oncology), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology (I-O) company developing next-generation immunotherapies that target the tumor microenvironment. As a result of the acquisition, Coherus’ novel I-O pipeline now includes four differentiated clinical-stage assets:

  • Toripalimab, a late-stage, anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody candidate under BLA review for the potential treatment of advanced recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC);
  • Casdozokitug (SRF388 or casdozo), a novel, first-in-class IL-27-targeted antibody currently being evaluated in Phase 2 clinical trials in lung cancer and liver cancer;
  • CHS-114 (SRF114), a highly selective, competitively positioned, ADCC-enhanced CCR8-targeted antibody currently in a Phase 1/2 study as a monotherapy in patients with advanced solid tumors; and
  • CHS-006, a TIGIT-targeted antibody currently in a Phase 1/2 study in combination with toripalimab in patients with advanced solid tumors.

“The addition of the first-in-class IL-27 targeted antibody, casdozo, and the potential best-in-class CCR8 targeted antibody CHS-114, marks Coherus’ transition to a next-generation immuno-oncology company focused on the tumor microenvironment,” said Denny Lanfear, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coherus. “We will now focus our development efforts on delivering breakthrough survival benefits for cancer patients, beyond the efficacy seen with existing chemotherapy plus checkpoints regimens. Toripalimab combinations with these two new agents have the potential to expand tori use into highly prevalent tumor types including NSCLC and head and neck cancer, where it has already consistently shown clinically meaningful activity.”

At the closing of the acquisition, Coherus issued 0.1960 shares of its common stock per share of outstanding Surface common stock and certain outstanding Surface employee equity awards (which exchange ratio was calculated based on a $5.2831 per share price of Coherus common stock) for a total value equal to approximately $66.9 million, the sum of $40 million plus Surface’s net cash at closing of the transaction of $26.9 million. Surface shareholders also received contingent value rights (CVRs) for 70% of milestone and royalty-based value of existing programs with Novartis (NZV930) and GSK (GSK4381562), as well as for 25% of upfront payments made pursuant to potential ex-US licensing agreements for CHS-114 and 50% of upfront payments made pursuant to potential ex-US licensing agreements for casdozokitug, subject to certain deductions as set forth in the contingent value rights agreement. Amounts under these CVRs are payable for a period of ten years following the closing of this transaction. As a result of the acquisition, Surface has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Coherus and the common stock of Surface will no longer be listed for trading on the Nasdaq Capital Market, effective as of prior to market open on September 8, 2023.

Truist Securities acted as financial advisor, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisors to Coherus. Wedbush Securities Inc. acted as exclusive strategic financial advisor, and Goodwin Procter LLP acted as legal advisor to Surface.

Source: Company Press Release