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Gilead and EVOQ Therapeutics partner in deal potentially worth over $650m

The companies will focus on developing therapies for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus


Gilead and EVOQ Therapeutics (EVOQ) have entered into a collaboration and licensing agreement aimed at advancing immunotherapies for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and lupus.

Under the terms of the agreement, EVOQ could potentially receive up to $658.5m in upfront, option exercise and milestone payments across all programmes, as well as tiered royalties on product sales.

Preclinical development will be split between the two companies, with Gilead responsible for all clinical development and potential commercialisation activities relating to any resulting products.

Gilead will receive rights to exclusively licence EVOG’s NanoDisc technology, which is designed to enable lymph-targeted delivery of disease-specific antigens and said to have the potential to ‘change the paradigm’ for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Flavius Martin, executive vice president, research at Gilead, said: “Despite key advances over the past two decades, there remains significant unmet need for people living with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.

“We are excited to collaborate with EVOQ to further expand our autoimmune pipeline with the goal of addressing the needs of people living with these conditions.”

There are more than 100 chronic autoimmune diseases, many of which are severely debilitating, and some life-threatening. According to the National Institutes of Health, up to 23.5 million people are living with an autoimmune disease in the US alone, and the prevalence is rising.

Commenting on the collaboration, William Brinkerhoff, chief executive officer at EVOQ, said: “Gilead has an incredible track record in therapeutic development and of delivering innovative medicines to people around the world.

“We look forward to working with the Gilead team to advance new treatment options for RA and lupus patients.”

The collaboration follows the announcement of EVOQ’s partnership with JDRF last month to develop its novel platform technology for type 1 diabetes.

“This is an exciting time for EVOQ,” Brinkerhoff said at the time of the announcement. “Having demonstrated pre-clinical efficacy in multiple autoimmune diseases, EVOQ is enthusiastic to work closely with JDRF on type 1 diabetes.”

EVOQ also partnered with Amgen in January 2021 to discover and develop novel drugs for autoimmune disorders.

Under the terms of the agreement, Amgen would make upfront and milestone payments to EVOQ potentially totalling more than $240m, as well as pay royalties, in exchange for exclusive rights to selected autoimmune programmes.

Article by
Emily Kimber

4th January 2023

From: Research



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