Boston Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) have entered into a three-year out-license and option agreement to advance multiple pre-phase two programmes.
The first two programmes are for oncology and central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
The latest deal builds on a previous agreement signed in 2018, where Boston Pharmaceuticals acquired five early developed GSK programmes.
According to the agreement, GSK will initially out-license GSK3903371, a monoclonal antibody targeting the Interleukin-1 Receptor Accessory Protein (IL1RAP).
IL1RAP is an antigen driving tumour growth and immunosuppression.
The company will also be responsible for out-licensing GSK3502421, an oral small-molecule inhibitor for neurological disorders.
GSK3502421 targets Receptor Interacting Serine/Threonine Kinase 1 (RIPK1), which is an important component of the TNF-driven inflammation and necroptosis pathway.
GSK research senior vice-president John Lepore said: “We are pleased to further strengthen our relationship with Boston Pharmaceuticals as they continue to help us translate great science into medicines.
“This agreement makes strong strategic sense as it helps us assess the potential of multiple early-stage programs and focus on progressing our own internal assets while maintaining pipeline optionality for the future.”
Based on the agreement, Boston Pharma will advance the development of select programmes through proof-of-concept (POC) studies.
Upon completion of the studies, GSK can reacquire the programme for further development and commercialisation worldwide under pre-agreed terms.
Boston Pharmaceuticals will be eligible for a one-time payment as well as approval and sales milestones and royalties if GSK exercises its repurchase option.
If GSK chooses not to reacquire, Boston Pharmaceuticals could continue the programme development and potential commercialisation.
GSK will then receive milestones and royalty payments.
Prior to this, Canada’s Medicago has started a Phase III clinical testing of its plant-derived Covid-19 vaccine candidate combined with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant as part of the ongoing Phase II/III study.