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Gilead Sciences set to acquire MiroBio in deal worth over $400m

The UK biotech is a spin-out of Oxford University and focuses on research into autoimmune diseases

Gilead

Gilead Sciences has announced its plans to acquire UK-based biotechnology company MiroBio. The privately-held company focuses its research efforts on restoring immune balance with agonists targeting immune inhibitory receptors. The deal is worth approximately $405m in cash, subject to customary adjustments.

The acquisition will allow Gilead to utilise MiroBio’s proprietary discovery platform and entire portfolio of immune inhibitory receptor agonists. In 2019, MiroBio became a spin-out of Oxford University and is based on more than 15 years of foundational research from the labs of Professor Simon Davis and Professor Richard Cornall.

The company’s lead investigational antibody, MB272, is a selective agonist of immune inhibitory receptor B- and T-Lymphocyte Attenuator (BTLA), which has entered phase 1 clinical trials. MB272 targets T, B and dendritic cells to inhibit or blunt activation and suppress an inflammatory immune response.

MiroBio’s REceptor Selection and Targeting to Reinstate immune Equilibrium – I-ReSToRE platform – has the potential to be used as a novel approach for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, by creating best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors.

The company developed I-ReSToRE and combined it with its Checkpoint Atlas – a receptor mapping database and visualization tool – with proprietary antibody engineering.

The I-ReSToRE platform works to identify and develop therapeutics that engage inhibitory signalling networks with the aim of restoring immune homeostasis for patients. Gilead expects to advance additional agonists derived from MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform, including a PD-1 agonist, MB151, and other undisclosed early-stage programmes, over the next several years.

Commenting on the acquisition, Flavius Martin, executive vice president, research, Gilead Sciences, said: “The team at MiroBio has spearheaded foundational research for agonist antibodies following a rigorous scientific approach.

“We believe that MiroBio’s unique platform technology has the potential to produce best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors.”

According to the conditions of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all of the outstanding share capital of MiroBio for a total of $405m in cash, subject to customary adjustments, which is payable upon completion.

Eliot Charles, chairman of MiroBio, said: “MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signalling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease.”

Article by
Fleur Jeffries

5th August 2022

From: Sales

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