Cartography Biosciences has announced a strategic partnership with Gilead Sciences, focusing on the discovery and development of therapies against new targets and target pairs in the oncology field.

The alliance aims to create treatments for triple-negative breast cancer and adenocarcinoma, the most prevalent form of non-small cell lung cancer.

Cartography’s computational and genomics platforms, ATLAS and SUMMIT, will be leveraged to discover and establish new tumour-selective target antigens and pairs of antigens.

These platforms combine single-cell data from healthy reference and tumour atlases [maps that describe the multidimensional cellular, structural and molecular characteristics of unaffected tissue and of cancerous tissue], applying algorithms to identify targets specific to the intended target cells and streamlined for therapeutic programmes.

During the multi-year partnership, Gilead can opt-in on multiple targets detected through this deal.

Gilead will be responsible for the subsequent research, development and commercialisation of the programmes against these targets.

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Cartography will receive $20m in an upfront payment and additional near-term preclinical milestone payments. It will then also receive payments on meeting development, regulatory and commercial milestones, and royalty payments on net product sales for Gilead programmes against each optioned target.

Cartography Biosciences CEO Kevin Parker stated: “We are excited to partner with Gilead to identify novel and compelling antigen targets using our ATLAS and SUMMIT platform.

“The current target landscape in oncology is growing increasingly crowded and there is an urgent need to provide patients with innovative, targeted medicines. Cartography looks forward to working with Gilead and leveraging the team’s expertise in oncology and drug development to identify tumour-specific targets and target pairs that can lead to transformative therapies for patients.”

In March 2024, Gilead and Xilio Therapeutics declared an exclusive licence agreement for the development of a tumour-activated IL-12 programme.

Gilead agreed to pay $43.5m upfront, including $30m in cash to Xilio.

Gilead will also provide a $13.5m initial equity investment in Xilio’s common stock at a premium. Xilio will be entitled to receive up to $604m in extra payments from Gilead.