GSK to Acquire Biopharmaceutical Company

And other recent pharma sector mergers & acquisitions.

Kristen Kazarian, Managing Editor

January 31, 2024

4 Slides

GSK has signed an agreement to acquire Aiolos Bio, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on treatment of patients with certain respiratory and inflammatory conditions, for a $1 billion upfront payment and up to $400 million in certain success-based regulatory milestone payments.

Founded in 2023, Aiolos Bio is a San Francisco, CA and London, UK-based clinical-stage, private, biopharmaceutical company dedicated to revolutionizing the treatment landscape for respiratory disease.

The acquisition provides GSK with access to 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 the treatment of adult patients with asthma, with potential for additional indications including chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. AIO-001 was exclusively licensed to Aiolos outside of Greater China by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd.

“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,” said Tony Wood, chief scientific officer, GSK.

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, it 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.

GSK already has a portfolio of marketed and investigational medicines to address a range of respiratory diseases, including biologics aimed at treating the subset of asthma patients with high levels of eosinophils or high T2 inflammation. With AIO-001, GSK’s respiratory portfolio could provide the option of a biologic to a broader portion of the 315 million patients living with asthma regardless of biomarker status and including those with low T2 inflammation.

We believe that this transaction speaks to the high potential of our long-acting anti-TSLP monoclonal antibody, AIO-001," said Khurem Farooq, CEO, Aiolos Bio. "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.”

About the Author(s)

Kristen Kazarian

Managing Editor

Kristen Kazarian has been a writer and editor for more than three decades. She has worked at several consumer magazines and B2B publications in the fields of food and beverage, packaging, processing, women's interest, local news, health and nutrition, fashion and beauty, automotive, and computers.

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