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Science 37 Holdings (Nasdaq:SNCE), Crinetics Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: CRNX) and Gritstone Bio (Nasdaq:GRTS) have announced recent inducement grants to attract new non-executive employees under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4). This move showcases the companies’ focus on talent acquisition and retention in the competitive pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets.

A clinical trial research organization based in Durham, North Carolina, Science 37 announced today that its compensation committee signed off on inducement equity awards. In all, the company granted options to purchase an aggregate of 110,800 shares of its common stock at an exercise price of $0.29 per share to three new employees. The options have a 10-year term and a four-year vesting schedule.

Grants for Critics and Gritstone

The clinical-stage pharma firm Crinetics Pharmaceuticals specializing in rare endocrine diseases and endocrine-related tumors also announced today that the compensation committee of its board granted non-qualified stock option awards to purchase an aggregate of 311,700 shares of its common stock. The awards will be used for 15 new non-executive employees.

The vaccine-focused biotech Gritstone Bio also announced that its compensation committee of its board granted a single employee nonqualified stock options to purchase an aggregate of 20,000 shares of its common stock with an exercise price of $2.76 on April 3, 2023. The stock options are part of an inducement material to the new employee becoming an employee of Gritstone.

In 2021, Gritstone announced that it was studying its second-generation COVID-19 vaccine in a phase 1 study.  A summary published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases was positive.

Crinetics Pharmaceuticals’ and Gritstone Bio’s stock options will vest over a four-year period.

Other pharma and biotech companies also announce inducement grants

Other companies recently announcing inducement grants include the biopharma Syndax Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:SNDX) and  the uro-oncology firm UroGen Pharma (Nasdaq:URGN).

Inducement grants gained in popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s during the dot-com boom, when technology companies competed fiercely for talent to help drive growth.

Industries relying on inducement grants include the tech sector, pharma and biotech industries, where, traditionally, demand for highly skilled talent is high. Drug developers sometimes include inducement grants in their pay packages to secure specialized talent.