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Glaxo (GSK)/iTeos Therapeutics to Co-Develop Novel Cancer Drug

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GlaxoSmithKline (GSK - Free Report) announced an agreement to acquire joint development and commercialization rights to iTeos Therapeutics’ (ITOS - Free Report) early-stage cancer candidate, EOS-448, an anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody.

EOS-448 is currently being evaluated in a phase I study for advanced solid tumors. Glaxo plans to study EOS-448 with its other investigational cancer therapies.

For the deal, Glaxo will make an upfront payment of $625 million to iTeos while the latter will also be entitled to potential milestones of up to $1.45 billion. If EOS-448 is successfully developed, Glaxo and iTeos will co-commercialize and share profits in the United States while Glaxo will get royalty payments on ex-US sales.

With the addition of EOS-448, Glaxo becomes the only company with antibodies targeting all three known CD226 checkpoints — TIGIT, CD96 (GSK’608) and PVRIG (GSK’562). Glaxo plans to explore various novel combinations of these next generation immuno-oncology agents and its PD-1 inhibitor, Jemperli ((dostarlimab), including doublets and triplets, which should enable development of novel next-generation immuno-oncology combinations. Initially, Glaxo plans to begin combination studies of EOS-448 with dostarlimab in 2022. Jemperli was approved by the FDA as a treatment for endometrial cancer in April.

GSK’608 is presently in phase I studies, being developed both as a monotherapy and in combination with dostarlimab. For GSK’562, Glaxo plans to file an Investigational New Drug application in 2022 to begin phase I studies.

So far this year, Glaxo’s shares have risen 10% compared with the industry’s 8.7% increase.

 

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Glaxo has been working to re-build its cancer pipeline since 2017. In oncology, the company now has a development portfolio of 15 potential medicines. This has been achieved through advancement of internal programs as well as targeted business development including the January 2019 acquisition of Tesaro (which added Zejula, ovarian cancer drug) and the February 2019 global alliance with Merck KGaA (to co-develop bintrafusp alpha, a promising new oncology medicine).

Roche’s (RHHBY - Free Report) tiragolumab and Merck’s (MRK - Free Report) vibostolimab are two other anti-TIGIT treatments in clinical development.

Glaxo currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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