Gilead Sciences has collaborated with Tango Therapeutics to discover, develop and commercialise targeted immune evasion therapies for cancer patients.

This multi-year alliance builds on an agreement signed by the parties in 2018.

Under the latest deal, Tango will continue to use its CRISPR-enabled functional genomics target discovery platform to detect new immune evasion targets.

The number of targets will be expanded from five to 15. Gilead will have an option for global rights to programmes related to these targets over the coming seven years.

In addition, Gilead will have the right to pay option extension fees to Tango for activities through early clinical development. Tango will have an option to participate in the development and promotion of the lead products for up to five programmes in the US.

Gilead Sciences Research executive vice-president William Lee said: “Since we signed the original agreement two years ago, we have been very pleased with the productivity of the collaboration and with the quality of scientific discovery that has come from this partnership.

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“We are looking forward to working with Tango to run additional cancer context-dependent screens to identify a broader set of targets based on our immuno-oncology strategy.”

The agreement does not include lead programmes of Tango, which retains the rights to find targets outside the immune evasion area.

Gilead will make an upfront payment of $125m to Tango, along with a $20m equity investment in the company. Gilead can option up to 15 programmes over the next seven years for up to $410m per programme.

Last month, Gilead entered into an agreement to acquire a 49.9% equity interest in cancer immunotherapies maker Tizona Therapeutics through an investment of $300m.