California-based biotech Gilead Sciences today has announced in a press release it has signed an agreement with biotech Agenus to obtain rights to Agenus’ AGEN1423 therapy subject to payment of $120m, plus additional payments up to $1.7bn upon achievement of precise milestones. Following the agreement, Gilead will also become a shareholder in Agenus, thanks to a $30m share purchase. AGEN1423 is a immunotherapy that enhances Gilead’s cancer drug arsenal, which already includes the new therapies inherited by acquiring Kite.
Gilead yesterday announced another partnership: the turn came for Scholar Rock Holding, with which Gilead started collaborating to develop new TGF beta inhibitors for the treatment of fibrotic diseases such as Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). NASH is among the Californian biotech’s core businesses: Gilead is planning to differentiate its portfolio so as to gradually reduce the group’s dependence on hepatitis B treatments, which have been showing signs of slowdown for years now.
The deal includes an upfront $80m payment, granting Gilead access to new TGF Beta inhibitors. Gilead could make potential additional payments of up to $1,425m, on successful completion of specific milestones. This agreement as well results in Gilead becoming a shareholder in Scholar Rock, thanks to a $30m share purchase.