Coherus brings the Surface saga to a close

Surface Oncology has had a number of setbacks over the years, so today’s stock-for-stock takeover by Coherus Biosciences for a total of $60-65m is perhaps a rescue of sorts. The deal nets Coherus a handful of immune-oncology assets including anti-IL-27 and anti-CCR8 antibodies in mid-stage trials; a strategy under consideration appears to be combining both of these with Coherus’s anti-PD-1 toripalimab. Surface’s net cash of $20-25m will fund ongoing trials of these two agents, SRF388 and SRF114, to the end of 2024, and Coherus said the acquisition would also allow it to reduce its budgeted R&D spend by at least $50m to 2025. As part of the deal Surface shareholders will receive contingent value rights based on potential future payments for all four of the company’s projects in active development. Though Surface's stock had collapsed over the past two years, the Coherus all-stock deal at least gives shareholders the possibility of seeing some future upside tied to the success of their company's acquirer. 

Surface Oncology's pipeline
Project Mechanism Status CVR details
Selected projects in development…
SRF388 Anti-IL-27 MAb Ph2 trial in 1st-line liver cancer could report 2024; ph1/1b in solid tumours incl NSCLC could report 2023 50% of up-front payments made under potential ex-US licensing deals
SRF114 Anti-CCR8 MAb Ph1/2 trial in solid tumors could report 2026 25% of upfront payments made under potential ex-US licensing deals 
NZV930 Anti-CD73 MAb Licensed to Novartis; ph1 basket trial in solid tumours could report 2024; phI/Ib trial in advanced malignancies terminated by Novartis for lack of efficacy 70% of milestone and royalty-based value
GSK4381562 PVRIG Licensed to GSK; ph1 trial in advanced solid tumours could report 2024 70% of milestone and royalty-based value 
… and a few no longer being actively pursued
SRF617 Anti-CD39 MAb Was in ph2 trial in combo with etrumadenant & zimberelimab, but development paused Nov 2022 NA
SRF231 Anti-CD47 MAb Discontinued in Dec 2018 after dose-limiting toxicities in ph1 NA
Source: company communications &

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