Gilead Sciences has partnered with biotechnology firm Goldfinch Bio for the discovery, development and commercialisation of new drug candidates to potentially treat diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and selected orphan kidney disorders.
To identify therapeutic targets, the alliance will leverage Goldfinch’s Kidney Genome Atlas (KGA) registry that combines genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic data with clinical profiles of patients.
The multi-year agreement gives Gilead exclusive options to license rights to some products directed toward the identified targets.
Goldfinch will also use its biology platform comprising human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived kidney cells and kidney organoids to validate targets.
The platform will also be used to support discovery and development of compounds to which Gilead will possess exclusive option rights.
Goldfinch plans to extend the scope of the KGA registry from orphan kidney diseases to include DKD.
Apart from target identification and validation, Goldfinch will be responsible for the discovery and development activities before Gilead exercises option rights.
After exercising the rights, Gilead will carry out for the development and commercialisation of optioned products.
Goldfinch will have an option to lead the development and co-promote optioned products for certain kidney disease targets.
Goldfinch Bio president and CEO Tony Johnson said: “There is a significant unmet need to improve health outcomes for patients with kidney diseases. This partnership will leverage Goldfinch’s KGAplatform to identify new therapeutic targets and Gilead’s proven track record of efficiently advancing life-saving therapies for patients.”
As part of the deal, Gilead will make an upfront payment of $55m, including a $5m equity investment. The company will also provide $54m to support the KGA platform’s development for DKD.
In addition, Goldfinch is eligible for up to $1.95bn in potential payments for the initial five collaboration programmes contingent to research, development, regulatory and commercial milestones.
The company will also receive tiered royalties on sales of products resulting from the alliance. It retains an option to equally share in US profits for some optioned products in specific kidney indications.
Moreover, the companies will share the development costs for profit share products in a manner commensurate with product rights.
Gilead recently partnered with insitro to leverage an artificial intelligence (AI)-based platform to discover and develop new therapeutics for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).