GSK pays $2bn for cancer drug tie-up

Photo: AP

UK leading pharmaceutical producer GlaxoSmithKline announced it had reached an agreement to pay two billion dollars to US iTeos Therapeutics, Reuters reported. The payment is aimed to facilitate a tie-up to develop and sell a potential cancer treatment together. The US firm will receive a $625 million upfront payment and is eligible to get up to $1.45 billion more if the programme meets certain development and commercial milestones.

GlaxoSmithKline is under pressure after a report showed that US investor Elliott has built up a significant stake in the company. The British drugmaker is also preparing to outline plans to split its consumer products business from its drug operations.

The iTeos deal is to develop EOS-448, a monoclonal antibody using an anti-TIGIT agent which showed promise in early studies. Anti-TIGIT treatments are new experimental immunotherapies against certain cancer types. These treatments, including Roche's tiragolumab and Merck & Co's vibostolimab, are designed to deactivate a tumour's ability to evade the immune system. EOS-448 is currently being tested in an early-stage study in patients with advanced solid tumors. GSK and iTeos plan to start combination studies of EOS-448 with GSK's cancer drug dostarlimab in 2022.

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