GSK to Buy Respiratory Drug Developer Aiolos Bio

10.01.2024 - GSK has agreed to acquire biotech Aiolos Bio for a $1 billion upfront payment and up to $400 million for the achievement of certain milestones. Founded just last year, Aiolos is a San Francisco, USA and London, UK-based biopharmaceutical company that develops treatments for respiratory diseases.

Aiolos has an experimental drug, AIO-001, ready to enter Phase 2 tests for adults with asthma, although the monoclonal antibody has potential in other diseases related to inflammation such as chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps, GSK said. AIO-001 was exclusively licensed to Aiolos outside of China by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals.

GSK’s chief scientific officer, Tony Wood, 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.

Khurem Farooq, CEO of Aiolos Bio, commented: “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.”

Under the terms of the agreement, GSK will also be responsible for success-based milestone payments as well as tiered royalties owed to Hengrui. The transaction is subject to customary conditions.