GlaxoSmithKline is reportedly in discussions with mobile technologies group Qualcomm over a possible joint venture centred on medical tech.

According to the Financial Times the deal could be worth around $1 billion, but people “with knowledge of the matter” told Bloomberg that talks are still in early stages and no decisions have been made. 

Representatives from both sides have declined to comment thus far.

GSK is seemingly taking a closer look at technology to improve its pipeline. Late last year the drug giant signed up med tech group Propeller Health to design a digital sensor for its Ellipta inhaler capable of collecting data during clinical trials.

Qualcomm also already has a pharma deal under its belt, having formed a strategic collaboration with Novartis last year to optimise the drugmaker’s global clinical trials.

Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform enables collection and aggregation of medical device data during clinical trials to improve the convenience and speed of capturing study participant data and test results, to improve trial efficiencies.

GSK employees charged with stealing secrets

Meanwhile, two former GSK staff are among five people being charged in the US for plotting to steal trade secrets from the drug giant to sell in China after an FBI investigation.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania revealed that an indictment had been filed including charges of conspiracy to steal trade secrets, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, theft of trade secrets, and wire fraud.

Former GSK employees Yu Xue and Lucy Xi, who worked at the firm’s research facility in Pennsylvania, stand accused of planning to sell the biopharmaceutical trade information, relating to products designed to treat cancer and other serious diseases, through a company in China called Renopharma.

If convicted of all charges, each defendant faces a possible prison term, fines, restitution, special assessments, and a term of supervised release.