GSK is to acquire Aiolos Bio for a $1 billion upfront payment and up to $400 million in regulatory milestone payments.
The acquisition includes 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 asthma, with potential for additional indications.
AIO-001 was exclusively licensed to Aiolos outside of Greater China by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals.
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.”
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.
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.”