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GSK to acquire oncology biotech Tesaro for $5.1 billion

Published on 03/12/18 at 12:50pm

GlaxoSmithKline is set to acquire US-based oncology biotech Tesaro after both companies signed a definitive agreement with an aggregate cash valuation of $5.1 billion.

A key element of the deal is that GSK will pick up Tesaro’s oral poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor Zejula (niraparib), which has already secured US and EU approval in the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer in patients who are in response to platinum-based chemotherapy, regardless of BRCA mutation or biomarker status.

Trials are also underway to test the drug’s efficacy as a monotherapy and as part of a combo in “all-comers” patient populations in the first-line maintenance of ovarian cancer – a demographic which is considerably larger than the one for which is already approved, and one which GSK will surely be looking to harness. Results from these studies are due to be unveiled in the first half of 2019.

Besides Zejula, GSK also acquires a number of other oncology products from Tesaro’s pipeline, including antibodies targeting PD-1, TIM-3 and LAG-3.

“Our strong belief is that PARP inhibitors are important medicines that have been under appreciated in terms of the impact they can have on cancer patients,” commented Hal Barron, GSK’s Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D. “We are optimistic that Zejula will demonstrate benefit in patients with ovarian cancer beyond those who are BRCA-positive as front-line treatment. We are also very excited that through this transaction, we will have the opportunity to work with an outstanding Boston-based oncology group with deep clinical development expertise and together we will explore Zejula’s efficacy beyond ovarian cancer into multiple tumour types to help many more patients.”

Lonnie Moulder, Chief Executive Officer at Tesaro, remarked: “This transaction marks the beginning of a new global partnership that will accelerate our oncology business and allow our mission of delivering transformative products to individuals living with cancer to endure. Our Board and Management team are very pleased to announce this transaction, and we are grateful to the management team at GSK for their tremendous vision and the opportunity to preserve and build upon the impact we have had in the cancer community to date.”

Matt Fellows

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