GSK and Eligo enter acne research partnership

pharmafile | January 21, 2021 | News story | |  GlaxoSmithKilne, acne 

Eligo Bioscience has entered into a research and option agreement with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) aimed at advancing Eligobiotics for the treatment or prevention of acne vulgaris with a pioneering CRISPR-based therapeutic for strain-specific microbiome modulation.

Acne is a chronic inflammatory disorder, affecting 85% of adolescents and young adults around the world and carrying a significant impact on physical and mental health globally.

Eligo’s acne discovery programme, EB005, applies Eligobiotics technology to precisely modify the composition of the skin’s microbiome to treat or reduce the risk of developing moderate to severe acne. Eligo is leveraging recent insights in acne showing that otherwise beneficial skin bacteria, when expressing pro-inflammatory molecules, trigger the immune system and drive inflammation. EB005 aims to develop Eligobiotics for topical application to precisely and selectively remove these pro-inflammatory bacterial strains from the microbiome, while sparing the rest of the skin microbiome.

Under the agreement, Eligo will receive an upfront payment and research and development funding to advance EB005 until preclinical proof of concept. If GSK exercises its option, both companies will enter into a licence and collaboration agreement to jointly continue the development of EB005 in acne. Eligo would be eligible to receive up to a total of $224 million in licence fees and potential milestone payments, as well as royalties on global sales.

Emmanuel Hanon, Senior Vice-President and Head of R&D for GSK Vaccines, commented: “We are delighted to join forces with Eligo, a biotech company that is pioneering microbiome engineering by leveraging CRISPR technology to address microbiome-associated diseases.

“This partnership builds on GSK’s strong expertise in immunology, bacteriology and product development, and Eligo’s robust bacteriophage science, to help improve acne patients’ lives.”

Darcy Jimenez

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