Gilead Sciences and Galapagos NV have announced plans to enter into a 10-year global research and development collaboration, which will give Gilead access to an innovative portfolio of compounds, including six molecules currently in clinical trials.

The company will also gain more than 20 preclinical programs and a proven drug discovery platform.

Under the terms of the deal Galapagos will receive a $3.95 billion upfront payment and a $1.1 billion equity investment from Gilead, which it will use to expand and accelerate its research and development programs. Gilead will receive an exclusive product license and option rights to develop and commercialise all current and future programs in all countries outside Europe.

In addition, Gilead and Galapagos have agreed to amend certain terms in the agreement governing filgotinib, the candidate being advanced for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases to provide a broader commercialisation role for Galapagos in Europe.

It will allow for closer scientific partnership between the companies, giving Gilead access to Galapagos' established research base, which includes more than 500 scientists, and to Galapagos' unique platform that utilises disease-related, human primary cell-based assays to discover and verify novel drug targets. Gilead will also nominate two individuals to Galapagos' board of directors following the closing of the transaction.

Gilead says it “chose to partner with Galapagos because of its pioneering target and drug discovery platform, proven scientific capabilities and outstanding team," according to Daniel O'Day, chairman and chief executive officer of the company.

He continued, "Gilead also gains exclusive access to all current and future compounds in Galapagos' rich pipeline while Galapagos is able to expand its research activities and build commercial infrastructure. The collaboration reflects Gilead's intent to grow our innovation network through diverse and creative partnerships."

As part of the collaboration, Gilead also gains rights to GLPG1690, Galapagos' Phase III candidate for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.