Arcus will receive an upfront payment of $35m and will commence research programs against up to four targets, which will be jointly selected by the parties and Gilead can exercise its option to license each programme at two separate time points


Gilead, ArcusBio expand research partnership. (Credit: Julia Koblitz on Unsplash)

Gilead Sciences and Arcus Biosciences have expanded their existing research collaboration, focusing on oncology treatment to include therapies for inflammatory diseases.

Under the terms of the expanded collaboration, Arcus will receive an upfront payment of $35m and will commence research programmes against up to four targets.

The four targets, related to inflammatory diseases, will be jointly selected by the parties.

Gilead can exercise its option to license each programme at two separate, prespecified time points.

For the first two programmes exercised by Gilead, Arcus is eligible to receive up to $420m in option and milestone payments and tiered royalties for each programme.

The two parties would co-develop and share global development costs and co-commercialise and share profits in the US, for any other option exercised by Gilead.

Gilead Sciences research executive vice president Flavius Martin said: “We are pleased to build upon Gilead’s efforts in inflammation with the expansion of our strategic collaboration with Arcus.

“Gilead is committed to accessing innovative approaches to address the significant unmet medical needs across a range of inflammatory conditions, and this expanded collaboration with Arcus underscores that commitment.

“Arcus is an excellent partner with clear strengths in discovery and development, and we believe this partnership will significantly accelerate our progress in developing transformative new therapies for inflammatory diseases.”

Established in 2015, Arcus Biosciences is a clinical-stage, global biopharmaceutical company developing differentiated molecules and combination medicines for people with cancer.

The company develops medicines against well-characterised biological targets and pathways and studies novel, biology-driven combinations to help people with cancer live longer.

It has advanced multiple medicines into clinical studies, including new combination approaches that target TIGIT, PD-1, the adenosine axis (CD73 and A2a/A2b receptors) and HIF-2a.

In 2020, Gilead and Arcus initiated a 10-year partnership to co-develop and co-commercialise therapeutic product candidates in Arcus’s pipeline.

The expanded collaboration builds upon Gilead’s growing focus on inflammatory disease and will expand Arcus’ capabilities and portfolio beyond oncology and into inflammation.

Arcus chief executive officer Terry Rosen said: “Since its founding, Arcus has been creating and developing therapeutic interventions that can modulate the immune system to treat cancer.

“Through this expansion of our partnership with Gilead, we can combine our research expertise in immunology and small molecule drug discovery with Gilead’s strong clinical experience in inflammation.

“The research collaboration facilitates much earlier alignment between Gilead and Arcus on our discovery and development activities, while enabling Arcus to expand into inflammation in a capital-efficient manner.”