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GSK has reached an agreement to acquire late-stage biopharmaceutical company BELLUS Health.
GSK and BELLUS Health announced on April 18, 2023 that they have entered into an agreement under which GSK will acquire BELLUS, a Canada-based late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on therapeutics for refractory chronic cough (RCC), for approximately $2 billion.
The acquisition will provide GSK access to camlipixant, a highly selective P2X3 antagonist currently in Phase III development for the first-line treatment of adult patients with RCC. The treatment has an anticipated regulatory approval and launch in 2026. There are currently no approved medicines for RCC in the United States and European Union (EU), according to a company press release.
An estimated 28 million patients suffer from chronic cough, with 10 million patients globally and 6 million in the US and EU suffering from RCC for more than one year, according to the release. RCC is defined as a persistent cough that lasts for more than eight weeks that does not respond to treatment for an underlying condition or is otherwise unexplained.
“Patients suffering from severe forms of refractory chronic cough can experience [more than] 900 coughs daily, resulting in quality-of-life issues,” said Luke Miels, chief commercial officer, GSK, in the release. “Camlipixant, a novel, highly selective P2X3 antagonist, has the potential to be a best-in-class treatment with significant sales potential. This proposed acquisition complements our portfolio of specialty medicines and builds on our expertise in respiratory therapies.”