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Second Genome to help drive development of Gilead therapies in potential $1.5bn deal

Published on 08/04/20 at 11:47am

Gilead and microbiome science specialist Second Genome have announced they are to partner up to advance a selection of the former’s therapeutics in a deal worth a potential $1.5 billion.

As part of the four-year collaboration, Second Genome will use its proprietary Microbiome Analytics Platform to identify biomarkers which can drive clinical response in up to five of Gilead’s investigational products in inflammation, fibrosis and other conditions.

Dr William Lee, Executive Vice President of Research at Gilead, commented on the partnership: “There is a growing body of evidence that the microbiome plays an important role in disease progression and treatment response in inflammatory diseases. We look forward to working with Second Genome to investigate the microbiome’s role in inflammatory disease and particularly IBD, where patients can face significant challenges in achieving long-term remission with conventional therapies.”

The deal will see Gilead pay an upfront sum of $38 million to Second Genome, with an additional $300 million to be paid in milestone payments for each of the five potential therapeutics in the partnership, subject to preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial successes. This is in addition to “double-digit” royalties for products that secure approval, as well as milestone payments for each validated biomarker delivered by the partnership, which Gilead will own exclusively under the agreed terms.

“The Second Genome platform seeks to redefine diseases through the lens of the microbiome, utilising this incredible resource to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutics,” explained Dr Karim Dabbagh, CEO of Second Genome. “We believe the microbiome holds insight into patient heterogeneity as well as response to specific therapies. These differences enable the identification of important biomarkers to enhance precision medicine for better patient segmentation as well as potential combination therapies. We are excited to be collaborating with Gilead using these approaches in IBD for new biomarkers as well as target and drug candidate discovery, driving toward improved clinical outcomes for patients.”

Matt Fellows


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