GSK in-licenses anti-IL-33R monoclonal antibody for severe asthma from Janssen

Agreement further strengthens respiratory pipeline of targeted biological therapies

Issued: London

GSK today announced that it has entered into an exclusive, worldwide licence agreement with Janssen Sciences Ireland UC (Janssen) for CNTO 7160, an anti-IL-33R monoclonal antibody currently in phase I clinical development. The agreement covers all therapeutic fields.

CNTO 7160 is a biological therapy that prevents interleukin-33 from binding to the ST2 receptor (IL-33R) and could be applicable to a broad spectrum of severe asthmatic populations. There is strong human genetic evidence and target biology linking the IL-33 pathway to asthma and regulation of inflammatory cells known to be important in asthma, including neutrophils and eosinophils.

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will assume all development, manufacturing and commercialisation activities worldwide with the exception of the ongoing phase I study, which Janssen will continue to run through to completion.

Janssen will receive up to £175 million comprising an upfront payment, and development and first commercial sales milestones, in addition to tiered royalties on sales and further considerations contingent on future sales performance.

Dave Allen, Head of Respiratory R&D at GSK, said: “While current options for the treatment of mild to moderate asthma enable patients to achieve good control of their symptoms, there remains significant unmet need in severe patients. The IL-33 receptor antibody joins our diverse respiratory R&D portfolio of targeted biological therapies and offers the potential to block a fundamental driver of the disease.

“Following our recent successful launch of a first-in-class biologic for severe asthma in an eosinophilic population, we plan to investigate this asset’s potential to treat other targeted populations, for which there are currently no effective medicines.”

Respiratory disease is one of GSK’s six core areas of scientific research and development alongside oncology, vaccines, immuno-inflammation, HIV and infectious diseases, and rare diseases. Building on its heritage as a leader in respiratory research, the company has an R&D portfolio of potential next-generation treatments for respiratory diseases including asthma, COPD, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and acute lung injury.

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Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D 'Risk factors' in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2015.