GlaxoSmithKline has linked up with the USA’s Dynavax Technologies Corp to develop treatments for immuno-inflammatory diseases.

Under the terms of the alliance, the companies will be aiming to discover and eventually commercialise novel inhibitors of endosomal Toll-like Receptors (TLRs), which can induce strong inflammatory responses. Cashwise, Dynavax will receive an initial payment of $10 million for which GSK will receive an exclusive option over four programmes targeting diseases such as lupus, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The Berkeley, California-based company will conduct research and early clinical development and is eligible to receive milestones totalling approximately $200 million per programme. GSK will carry out further development and commercialisation of these products and Dynavax will receive tiered, up to double-digit royalties on sales.

The latter firm has also retained an option to co-develop and co-promote one specified product. Dynavax’s lead inhibitor drug candidate is DV1079, a bifunctional inhibitor of TLR7 and TLR9 which is expected to enter clinical development in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The alliance with GSK “provides an opportunity to create an entirely new product franchise for Dynavax,” said chief executive Dino Dina, who added that “our TLR inhibitors have the potential to create significant value”.