Gilead licences novel immunotherapy programme

Gilead Sciences is in-licensing a novel immunotherapy programme via a new exclusive agreement with Massachusetts company, Jounce Therapeutics.

Jounce’s JTX-1811 programme is a monoclonal antibody designed to selectively deplete immunosuppressive tumour-infiltrating T regulatory (TITR) cells. The target of JTX-1811 is CCR8, a chemokine receptor enriched on TITR cells.

When JTX-1811 binds to CCR8, it targets TITR cells for depletion by enhanced antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity mechanism.

The antibody remains on track for filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application in the first half of 2021.

Gilead will make a $85 million upfront payment to, and a $35 million equity investment at a premium in, Jounce upon closing.

In addition, Jounce may receive up to an additional $685 million in future clinical, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Jounce will also be eligible to receive royalties ranging from high single digit to mid-teens based upon worldwide sales, subject to certain adjustments.

Jounce will lead development of JTX-1811 through IND clearance, and thereafter, Gilead will have the sole right to develop JTX-1811.

“JTX-1811 is complementary to our other oncology candidates and has the potential to be first in a new class of therapies as a treatment for people with both solid tumours and haematological malignancies,” said William A. Lee, Executive Vice President of Research at Gilead Sciences.

JTX-1811 is not approved anywhere globally. Its efficacy and safety have not been established.

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