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23 Jun 2020

Gilead pencils in potential buyout of Pionyr Immunotherapeutics

Pionyr's "promising, novel biology" could represent a major increase in Gileads's cancer pipeline.

Gilead Sciences has agreed to pay $275 million for a 49.9% share in Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, a privately held company developing first-in-class cancer immunotherapies, with the exclusive option to purchase the remainder of Pionyr.

Whether or not Gilead chooses to buy the remaining shares may well rest upon the outcomes of the Phase Ib studies for PY314 and PY159. If they decide to go ahead, the remaining shares will cost then a further $315 million and up to $1.15 billion in potential future milestone payments.

In addition, Gilead will provide Pionyr with additional funding for the PY314 and PY159 clinical programs, as well as ongoing R&D programs.

Pionyr’s Myeloid Tuning therapies have the potential to treat patients who currently do not benefit from checkpoint inhibitor therapies. PY314 and PY159 have demonstrated preclinical efficacy, suggesting potential in solid tumors in combination with established anti-PD(L)-1 agents. Pionyr plans to file investigational new drug (IND) applications with the FDA for both PY314 and PY159 in the third quarter of this year.

“This agreement underscores the value of our myeloid tuning platform and the potential of our pipeline of antibody therapeutics designed to turbocharge the immune system within the tumor microenvironment,” said Steven P. James, President and CEO, Pionyr.

“PY314 and PY159 are first-in-class antibodies designed to remove or reprogram, respectively, the immune suppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment and thereby enhance anti-tumor immunity. We are grateful that Gilead has acknowledged the promise of this transformational approach to potentially benefit patients across a range of solid tumors.”

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