GSK plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Aiolos Bio, Inc. (Aiolos) today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which GSK will acquire Aiolos, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing the unmet treatment needs of patients with certain respiratory and inflammatory conditions, for a $1 billion upfront payment and up to $400 million in certain success-based regulatory milestone payments.
The acquisition provides GSK with access to Aiolos’ AIO-001, a potentially best-in-class, long-acting anti-thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) monoclonal antibody ready to enter phase II clinical development for the treatment of adult patients with asthma, with potential for additional indications including chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. AIO-001 was exclusively licensed to Aiolos outside of Greater China by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. (Hengrui).
Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer, GSK, said: “We have a proud heritage and deep development expertise in respiratory medicines, especially addressing diseases driven by IL-5 with high levels of eosinophils or high T2 inflammation. Adding AIO-001, a potentially best-in-class medicine targeting the TSLP pathway, could expand the reach of our current respiratory biologics portfolio, including to the 40% of severe asthma patients with low T2 inflammation where treatment options are still needed.”1
Targeting the TSLP pathway addresses a key driver of the inflammatory response in major allergic and inflammatory diseases. TSLP is a clinically validated target in the treatment of asthma regardless of biomarker status. Early studies of AIO-001 have shown initial safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and biological activity in healthy volunteers and asthma patients. Additionally, AIO-001 has potential to be administered every six months due to its enhanced potency and half-life extension technology, which could redefine the standard-of-care.
GSK has an industry-leading portfolio of marketed and investigational medicines to address a range of respiratory diseases, including biologics aimed at treating the subset of asthma patients with high levels of eosinophils or high T2 inflammation. With AIO-001, GSK’s respiratory portfolio could provide the option of a biologic to a broader portion of the 315 million patients living with asthma regardless of biomarker status and including those with low T2 inflammation.2
Khurem Farooq, Chief Executive Officer, Aiolos Bio, said: “We believe that this transaction speaks to the high potential of our long-acting anti-TSLP monoclonal antibody, AIO-001. By uniting with GSK, a leader with decades of experience developing respiratory therapies and a shared commitment to improving patient lives, we’re confident that we can rapidly advance this therapy in the hopes of significantly reducing the treatment burden for patients.”