GSK acquires Elsie Biotechnologies for $50m

GSK has acquired Elsie Biotechnologies, a San Diego-based private biotechnology company dedicated to unlocking the full potential of oligonucleotide therapeutics, for up to $50 million (approximately £39 million).

Oligonucleotides have a unique ability to modulate gene expression, making them an attractive modality to address a significant proportion of therapeutic targets that are not amenable to traditional small molecules or biologics.

This acquisition allows GSK to integrate Elsie’s oligonucleotide discovery, synthesis, and delivery technologies to enhance GSK’s platform R&D capabilities. This follows a successful research collaboration with Elsie, announced in July 2023, in which GSK was able to explore and validate the technology.

Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer, GSK, said: “We have already made great strides in oligonucleotide drug development through our work in chronic hepatitis B and steatotic liver disease, and are thrilled to work alongside the talented team at Elsie to accelerate a next-generation oligonucleotide platform.

“By bringing together Elsie’s expertise and our internal capabilities, we can design and develop oligonucleotides for difficult-to-treat diseases of scale with larger patient populations.”

Data generated with the Elsie platform, combined with GSK’s expertise in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, will support the development of predictive models for future oligonucleotide design.

Kevin Green, Chief Operating Officer, Elsie, said: “We are thrilled to be a part of GSK and work alongside the talented R&D team dedicated to oligonucleotide drug development. We believe our platform will make significant contributions to the field and we believe GSK is the best partner to help advance this effort.”

Currently GSK is advancing oligonucleotide therapeutics in chronic hepatitis B and steatotic liver disease as well as other therapeutic areas beyond liver disease.

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