Through a multi-year partnership harnessing its own expertise, and Tentatrix’s multifunctional biologics-driven platform, Gilead Sciences recently announced a play to pursue early-stage protein therapeutics for cancer and inflammation.

The deal unlocks an immediate $66m for Tentatrix in the form of equity funding and upfront payments from Gilead, and sets up potential payments amounting to $240m if Gilead exercises the option to acquire up to three programs from this partnership.

Gilead has an advanced drug discovery and commercialisation pipeline across HIV, cancer, and inflammation, among other areas. As per a recent GlobalData report on personalised and precision medicine, Gilead is a key company among those developing personalised therapeutics, largely due to its successes with adoptive cell therapies like Yescarta( axicabtagene ciloleucel), which it absorbed as part of a Kite Therapeutics acquisition. Amongst personalised therapies, the cell therapy market in particular is expected to flourish in the near future with estimates of creating $52 billion in revenues by 2029—a significant jump from nearly $3 billion in 2022.

GlobalData is the parent company of Pharmaceutical Technology.

The Tentatrix deal allows Gilead to expand its prowess in protein therapeutics, which do not carry the same logistical and manufacturing challenges as personalised cell therapies. The Tentatrix deal is not the first protein chemistry research-based deal that Gilead has pursued this year, as per GlobalData’s deals database. In June, Gilead announced a collaboration with A-Alpha Bio, a synthetic biology company that will study protein-protein interactions to inform the development of HIV therapeutics.

Both research-based partnerships allow for upfront and tiered payments based on the success of chosen candidate programs.

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