GSK to acquire US biopharma company Sierra Oncology for $1.9bn

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to acquire Sierra Oncology, a California-based biopharma company, in a deal worth around $1.9 billion (£1.5 billion).

As per the terms of the deal, shareholders of the publicly-listed Sierra Oncology will be paid $55 per share in cash.

Sierra Oncology is engaged in developing targeted therapies for the treatment of rare types of cancer.

The biopharma company’s main asset is Momelotinib, which is said to have a differentiated mode of action with inhibitory activity along major signaling pathways. This activity of momelotinib could result in offering beneficial treatment effects on anaemia and bring down the necessity for transfusions apart from treating symptoms.

In the MOMENTUM phase III trial, momelotinib met all the primary and key secondary endpoints by achieving a statistically significant and clinically meaningful benefit on symptoms, anaemia, and splenic response.

Sierra Oncology expects to process US regulatory submission in Q2 2022 and EU submission in the latter half of this year.

GSK acquisition of Sierra Oncology

GSK acquisition of Sierra Oncology. Photo courtesy of giggel/Wikimedia Commons

Commenting on GSK acquisition of Sierra Oncology, Stephen Dilly — President and CEO of Sierra Oncology said: “Uniting with GSK creates the best opportunity for Sierra Oncology to realise its mission of delivering targeted therapies that treat rare forms of cancer while also delivering compelling and certain value for our stockholders.

“Now we have a partner with a global infrastructure and oncology expertise that enables us to deliver momelotinib to patients as quickly as possible and on a global scale.”

According to GSK, momelotinib complements its multiple myeloma drug Blenrep (belantamab mafodotin).

GSK said that the proposed deal is line with its strategy of developing a robust portfolio of new specialty medicines and vaccines.

Luke Miels — Chief Commercial Officer of GSK, commenting on GSK acquisition of Sierra Oncology, said: “Sierra Oncology complements our commercial and medical expertise in haematology. Momelotinib offers a differentiated treatment option that could address the significant unmet medical needs of myelofibrosis patients with anaemia, the major reason patients discontinue treatment.

“With this proposed acquisition, we have the opportunity to potentially bring meaningful new benefits to patients and further strengthen our portfolio of specialty medicines.”

GSK acquisition of Sierra Oncology, which is subject to the latter’s shareholders’ approval, and other customary conditions, is anticipated to close in Q3 2022 or before.

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