GSK has in-licensed a targeted biological therapy for severe asthma from Janssen, strengthening its respiratory pipeline.
The potential drug, CNTO 7160, is an anti-IL-33R monoclonal antibody currently in phase I clinical development. The deal is an exclusive, worldwide licence agreement covering all therapeutic fields.
CNTO 7160 is a biological therapy that prevents interleukin-33 from binding to the ST2 receptor (IL- 33R) and could be applicable to a broad spectrum of patients with severe asthma.
"There is strong human genetic evidence and target biology linking the IL-33 pathway to asthma and regulation of inflammatory cells known to be important in asthma, including neutrophils and eosinophils," says GSK in its announcement. Under the terms of the agreement, the company will assume all development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities worldwide with the exception of the ongoing phase I study, which Janssen will continue to run through to completion.
Janssen will receive up to £175 million including an upfront payment, development and first commercial sales milestones, and tiered royalties on sales.
"While current options for the treatment of mild to moderate asthma enable patients to achieve good control of their symptoms, there remains significant unmet need in severe patients," said Dave Allen, head of respiratory R&D at GSK. "The IL-33 receptor antibody joins our diverse respiratory R&D portfolio of targeted biological therapies and offers the potential to block a fundamental driver of the disease."
He added: "Following our recent successful launch of a first-in-class biologic for severe asthma in an eosinophilic population, we plan to investigate this asset's potential to treat other targeted populations, for which there are currently no effective medicines."
Respiratory disease is one of GSK's six core areas of scientific research and development alongside oncology, vaccines, immuno-inflammation, HIV and infectious diseases, and rare diseases.