Gilead and Second Genome Enter into $338 Million Biomarker and Drug Discovery Collaboration

April 7, 2020
Pharmaceutical Technology Editors

Second Genome will use its Microbiome Analytics Platform throughout the collaboration to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead’s investigational medicines.

Gilead Sciences and Second Genome, a biotechnology company located in San Francisco, CA, announced on April 6, 2020 that they are entering into a four-year collaboration to identify biomarkers associated with clinical response in up to five of Gilead’s pipeline compounds, and to identify potential new targets and drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) for up to $338 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Second Genome will receive $38 million upfront and $300 million in preclinical, clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestones for each of the five discovery programs along with double-digit royalties for any approved products, a Gilead press release said. Additionally, Gilead will have the option for rights to up to five programs and exclusive rights to all biomarkers developed through the partnership.

Second Genome will use its Microbiome Analytics Platform throughout the collaboration to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead’s investigational medicines, according to the press release. The platform will also work to pinpoint new targets and drug candidates for the treatment of IBD.

“The Second Genome platform seeks to redefine diseases through the lens of the microbiome, utilizing this incredible resource to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutics,” said Karim Dabbagh, PhD, CEO of Second Genome, in the press release. “We believe the microbiome holds insight into patient heterogeneity as well as response to specific therapies. These differences enable the identification of important biomarkers to enhance precision medicine for better patient segmentation as well as potential combination therapies. We are excited to be collaborating with Gilead using these approaches in IBD for new biomarkers as well as target and drug candidate discovery, driving toward improved clinical outcomes for patients.”

“There is a growing body of evidence that the microbiome plays an important role in disease progression and treatment response in inflammatory diseases,” added William Lee, PhD, executive vice president of research at Gilead, in the press release. “We look forward to working with Second Genome to investigate the microbiome’s role in inflammatory disease and particularly IBD, where patients can face significant challenges in achieving long-term remission with conventional therapies.”

Source: Gilead