Each year on February 4th, World Cancer Day empowers all of us across the world to show support, raise our collective voice, take personal action and press our governments to do more. World Cancer Day is the only day on the global health calendar where we can all unite and rally under the one banner of cancer in a positive and inspiring way.
As the second leading cause of death worldwide, cancer is likely to affect you, your family and everyone you know. The total annual economic cost of cancer is estimated at US$1.16 trillion. That’s TRILLION. That’s more than even the remarkable federal budget deficit of the United States.
9.6 million people die from cancer every year, and 70% of these deaths occur in low-to-middle income countries. Up to 3.7 million lives could be saved each year by implementing resource appropriate strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment.
Source: World Cancer Day
Equities.com follows hundreds of companies that are developing therapies for various cancers along multiple pathways of the body. We write about these companies constantly, particularly those on the small cap end of the market spectrum that may not generate the kind of organic coverage that the big pharmaceutical companies attract. On this World Cancer Day, we’re pleased to highlight these five small caps whose dedicated employees have been making important contributions to the science of cancer research.
South San Francisco-based Harpoon Therapeutics (proposed Nasdaq: HARP) filed in December 2018 for a $75 million IPO. The deal’s review, as with everything else at the SEC, was delayed due to the government shutdown, but the company filed an amendment last week with terms indicating a post-money valuation of $335 million at the midpoint of the filing range. Harpoon is developing a novel class of T cell-engaging antibodies (T cell engagers)—engineered proteins that direct a patient’s own T cells to kill target cells that express specific proteins. The company’s lead clinical candidate is in Phase 1 trials for prostate cancer, and Harpoon is also developing treatments for ovarian cancer (and other solid tumors), multiple myeloma and small cell lung cancer. The deal is expected to price for this Friday’s trade date.
Tel Aviv-based BioLineRx
Alpine Immune Sciences
Alpine Immune Sciences
Jerusalem and Boston-based Gamida Cell
One newly formed private company we’re watching is San Diego-based Erasca, which was launched in December 2018 with $42 million in Series A financing to not just treat, but to actually cure, cancer. Erasca (Erase Cancer) was co-founded by Jonathan E. Lim, MD, the physician-turned-“venturepreneur” who most recently was co-founder, president, CEO and Chairman of Ignyta, the cancer gene therapy company acquired by Roche in February 2018 for $1.7 billion. The financing was led by Dr. Lim’s own City Hill Ventures and Cormorant Asset Management. Erasca is Dr. Lim’s fifth biotechnology startup, with his previous four including Ignyta having raised a combined $1 billion in capital and generated over $4 billion of shareholder value.
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