GlaxoSmithKline enters into $3.3bn pact with Wave Life Sciences
UK-based GSK has announced a partnership with American company Wave Life Sciences, valued at up to $3.3bn. The partnership will allow GSK to use Wave’s PRISM technology – an oligonucleotide platform that combines chemistry with multiple therapeutic modalities, including editing, splicing and silencing.
Oligonucleotides are short strands of DNA or RNA, which can disable disease-causing genes through different mechanisms. Notably, they can address a range of genomic targets in multiple therapeutic areas, including those diseases that are difficult to treat with small molecules or biologics.
Currently, GSK has two oligonucleotide programmes: bepirovirsen for chronic hepatitis B and GSK4532990 for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Within the deal, GSK will also receive an exclusive global licence for Wave’s preclinical asset WVE-006. This is an RNA editing programme that targets alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), a disease which impacts the lungs and liver.
GSK will pay Wave $170m upfront, of which $120m will be cash and $50m in an equity investment. Additional developmental, regulatory and commercial milestones may total up to $3.3bn.
Tony Wood, President and Chief Scientific Officer, GSK, said, “Oligonucleotide therapeutics are becoming a mainstream modality, and this collaboration will enable us to use our leading position in human genetics and genomics to advance novel oligonucleotide therapies. Pairing GSK’s genetic expertise with the best-in-class PRISM platform enables us to accelerate drug discovery for newly identified targets, by matching target to modality. The addition of WVE-006 complements more advanced, clinical-phase oligonucleotides in our pipeline, including bepirovirsen for chronic hepatitis B and GSK4532990 for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).”
“For the past decade, Wave has been building a unique oligonucleotide platform that combines novel chemistry withthemeanstooptimallyaddressdiseasebiologythrough multipletherapeuticmodalities.In2022,westartedtodeliver on the promise of our platform with the first data showing translation in the clinic for our next-generation stereopure PN-chemistry containing candidates. Now with our GSK collaboration, we are excited to leverage their expertise in genetics to continue building a differentiated oligonucleotide pipeline, with a focus on our best-in-class RNA editing and upregulation capability. Additionally, GSK is the ideal partner for our WVE-006 programme, due to their long-standing history and global reach in respiratory diseases. The collaboration meaningfully extends our cash runway into 2025 and offers the potential for significant future milestones, providing new resources to deliver lifechanging medicines to patients,” stated Paul Bolno, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer, Wave Life Sciences.
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