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In a deal worth up to $1.4 billion, GSK aims to acquire Aiolos Bio and gain an expanded pipeline of biologic-based respiratory therapeutic candidates.
On Jan. 9, 2024, GSK and Aiolos Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the treatment of respiratory and inflammatory conditions, announced that they have entered into an agreement for GSK to acquire Aiolos for $1 billion upfront and up to $400 million in certain success-based regulatory milestone payments.
Through the acquisition, GSK will gain access to Aiolos’ AIO-001, a long-acting anti-thymic stromal lymphopoietin (TSLP) monoclonal antibody (mAb) that is ready to enter Phase II clinical development. The mAb is being evaluated for the treatment of adult patients with asthma. Other potential indications include chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. Aiolos has an exclusive license to AIO-001 outside of Greater China, which was granted by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals (Hengrui).
By targeting the TSLP pathway, one can address a key driver of the inflammatory response in major allergic and inflammatory diseases, according to GSK in a company press release. GSK also confirmed in the release that “TSLP is a clinically validated target in the treatment of asthma regardless of biomarker status.”
AIO-001 has shown initial safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, and biological activity in healthy volunteers and asthma patients in early studies. The mAb also has the potential to be administered every six months because of its enhanced potency and half-life extension technology.
“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 [type 2] inflammation where treatment options are still needed,” said Tony Wood, chief scientific officer, GSK, in the press release.
“We believe that this transaction speaks to the high potential of our long-acting anti-TSLP monoclonal antibody, AIO-001. By uniting with GSK … we’re confident that we can rapidly advance this therapy in the hopes of significantly reducing the treatment burden for patients,” said Khurem Farooq, CEO, Aiolos Bio, in the release.