GSK enters into £1.6bn deal to acquire Bellus Health

UK-based GSK has announceditsplanstoacquire Bellus Health, a Canadian late-stage biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treatments for refractory chronic cough (RCC). The acquisition will give GSK access to camlipixant, Bellus’ first-in-class treatment for RCC.
Camlipixant is a highly selective P2X3 antagonist currently in phase 3 development, where P2X3 is a validated biological target implicated in cough reflex hypersensitisation. By selectively inhibiting P2X3 receptors, camlipixant may reduce cough frequency for RCC patients.
GSK’s acquisition of Bellus Health will complement its expertise in respiratory medicines, and will make the most of GSK’s leading R&D, manufacturing and commercialisation capabilities. It is hoped that camlipixant will achieve regulatory approval and be launched in 2026, with profits expected from 2031.
Luke Miels, chief commercial officer at GSK, said: “Patients suffering from severe forms of RCC can experience over 900 coughs daily, resulting in quality-of-life issues. Camlipixant, a novel, highly selective P2X3 antagonist, has the potential to be a best-in-class treatment with significant sales potential.
This proposed acquisition complements our portfolio of specialty medicines and builds on our expertise in respiratory therapies.”
Roberto Bellini, CEO of Bellus Health, commented: “This acquisition recognises the value of our highly selective P2X3 antagonist camlipixant and validates the hard work and dedication of all the Bellus employees in advancing camlipixant to date. As a leader in respiratory research for over five decades, GSK shares our commitment to bettering the lives of individuals suffering from a persistent cough and is the ideal company to rapidly bring camlipixant to the millions suffering from RCC around the world.”