Gilead Sciences to acquire British biotech company MiroBio for $405m

Gilead Sciences has agreed to acquire MiroBio, a clinical-stage British biotech company, in an all-cash deal worth around $405 million in a move to gain access to the latter’s pipeline of immune checkpoint agonists and drug discovery platform.

The lead investigational antibody of MiroBio is MB272, which is a selective agonist of immune inhibitory receptor B- and T-Lymphocyte Attenuator (BTLA).

MB272 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials in which the first patient was dosed recently. It is said to target T, B and dendritic cells for inhibiting or reducing activation and preventing an inflammatory immune response.

Spun out of Oxford University in 2019, the British biotech company has developed a drug discovery platform called I-ReSToRE platform (REceptor Selection and Targeting to Reinstate immune Equilibrium), which is designed for developing agonist antibodies for targeting immune inhibitory receptors.

Eliot Charles — MiroBio Chairman, commenting on Gilead Sciences acquisition of MiroBio, said: “MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease.”

Over the next several years, Gilead Sciences expects to progress additional agonists derived from the I-ReSToRE platform. These include a PD-1 agonist called MB151, and other undisclosed programs in early-stage.

Commenting on Gilead Sciences acquisition of MiroBio, Flavius Martin — Gilead Sciences Research Executive Vice President said: “The team at MiroBio has spearheaded foundational research for agonist antibodies following a rigorous scientific approach.

“We believe that MiroBio’s unique platform technology has the potential to produce best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors.”

The closing of the deal is based on expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act as well as other customary conditions.

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