Gilead to buy 49.9% stake in cancer drug developer for $ 275 million

Gilead Sciences Inc said Tuesday it would buy a 49.9% stake in privately owned Pionyr Immunotherapeutics Inc for $ 275 million, strengthening its cancer portfolio by ensuring access to two promising drugs.

The drug maker, which is vying to get enough supplies of its antiviral drug remdesivir for use in COVID-19, said it has also secured the right to acquire the rest of the drug developer for an optional $ exercise fee. 315 million.

Pionyr’s experimental immunononcology drugs, PY314 and PY159, have shown potential against solid tumors in animal studies and plan to file applications with the US Food and Drug Administration. USA In the third trimester to begin human testing.

This is Gilead’s third agreement in the four-month span aimed at expanding its oncology portfolio, Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a note to the client.

In March, the company announced a $ 4.9 billion deal for Forty Seven Inc, installing an experimental treatment targeting blood cancer.

This was followed by a 10-year deal last month with Arcus Biosciences Inc to develop and commercialize cancer immunotherapies.

“This is the most rational way to create long-term value rather than a big takeover, and it sets up Gilead for a lot of interesting data in 2021,” said Yee.

Pionyr shareholders are also eligible to receive up to an additional $ 1.47 billion in option exercise fees and future milestone payments.

Remdesivir is at the forefront of fighting the virus after the drug helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial, but some analysts are skeptical about its potential for profit. (Report from Manojna Maddipatla in Bangalore; Edited by Sriraj Kalluvila)