Gilead to boost R&D pipeline with $4.9 billion deal for Forty Seven

3 Mar 2020

Biotech firm Gilead Sciences said Monday it is set to acquire clinical-stage oncology specialist Forty Seven in a transaction worth $4.9 billion.

Forty Seven is is developing therapies targeting cancer immune evasion pathways and specific cell targeting approaches.

Gilead to boost R&D pipeline with $4.9 billion deal for Forty Seven

Gilead will gain Forty Seven's lead product candidate, magrolimab, in a bid to strengthen its immuno-oncology research and development portfolio.

Magrolimab is a monoclonal antibody in clinical development for the treatment of several cancers including myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL).

The investigational therapy targets CD47, a “do not eat me” signal that allows cancer cells to avoid destruction thereby permitting the patient’s own innate immune system to engulf and eradicate those cancer cells. Forty Seven presented promising results of a Phase Ib study of magrolimab in patients with MDS and AML at the American Society of Hematology meeting in December 2019, Gilead said.

Gilead said Magrolimab complements its existing work in hematology, adding a non-cell therapy program to Kite's (a Gilead company) pipeline of cell therapies for hematological cancers.

“With a profile that lends itself to combination therapies, magrolimab could potentially have transformative benefits for a range of tumour types,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Gilead Sciences.

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