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Gilead inks $1.8 bn deal with immuno-oncology biotech Agenus

Published on 21/12/18 at 11:00am

California-based firm Gilead Sciences and Massachusetts-based immuno-oncology biotech Agenus have announced that they have entered into a partnership focused on the development and commercialisation of up to five novel immuno-oncology therapies, in a deal worth up to $1.8 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement Agenus will receive $150 million upon closing which includes $120 million in cash along with an equity investment of $30 million. However Agenus will be eligible to receive up to $1.7 billion in potential future fees and milestones.

Shares in the Lexington-based biotech surged by as much as 70% on announcement of the news, increasing from 2.01 to 2.80 in premarket trading.

In return Gilead will receive worldwide exclusive rights to AGEN1423 as well as the option to license two additional programs: AGEN1223 and AGEN2373.

“Recent advances in immuno-oncology have produced unprecedented benefit to patients; however, many people with cancer still require more effective treatment options,” said John McHutchison, AO, MD, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development, Gilead Sciences. 

“Our collaboration with Agenus gives us access to novel and differentiated immune modulating antibodies that will complement our growing oncology portfolio and cell therapy business.  We look forward to partnering with the Agenus team.”

“Gilead is an ideal partner for Agenus for the rapid advancement of our pipeline,” said  Dr Garo Armen, Chairman and CEO, Agenus.  “By year end, our discovery platforms will have resulted in six INDs in 2018 and 13 INDs by the 1H2019.  Gilead's established global presence and commitment to disruptive therapies, combined with our track-record in building a broad pipeline in I-O, has the potential to yield breakthrough I-O treatments for patients with cancer.”

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