Medical Innovation Exchange

Gilead downloads solid tumor program from Compugen for $60M upfront

Gilead Sciences is uploading $60 million to Compugen’s bank account plus hefty milestones down the road in exchange for the rights to a preclinical IL-18 binding protein program that includes a solid tumor asset.

The deal, announced Tuesday, includes the upfront payment, $30 million in near-term milestones and a total deal value that could swell to $848 million. Gilead will gain access to COM503, an antibody that blocks the interaction between the IL-18 binding protein and IL-18, releasing natural IL-18 to inhibit cancer growth.

The $30 million milestone will kick in once COM503 is granted investigational new drug clearance by the FDA, expected in 2024. Compugen could receive up to $758 million in future development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments overall, for a total possible deal value of $848 million. The deal also includes royalties.

Compugen will continue to be responsible for ongoing pre-clinical development and the phase 1 study of COM503. Then, Gilead will pick up future development work and commercialization efforts.

Gilead’s Flavius Martin, M.D., executive VP of research, pointed to potential combinations of COM503 with other therapies in the pharma’s storeroom.

Compugen also has a deal with AstraZeneca for the anti-PD-1/TIGIT candidate rilvegostomig, which was derived from the biotech’s COM902 asset. The therapy is being developed in a phase 1/2 trial for non-small cell lung cancer. Other non-partnered indications include biliary tract cancer, bladder cancer and gastric cancer.

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