GlaxoSmithKline has found a new therapy to add to its big pipeline of respiratory drugs. The UK-based pharma group in-licensed J&J’s CNTO 7160, an anti-IL-33R monoclonal antibody now in Phase I. J&J stands to get $230 million in an upfront plus a slate of milestones, which weren’t broken out in the statement.
The drug blocks interleukin-33 from binding to the ST2 receptor, a biologic step that plays a role with inflammatory cells like neutrophils and eosinophils, a big focus in asthma, which GSK has centered on for years now.
This new drug could help GlaxoSmithKline bolster its position in the asthma market after the recent approval for Nucala, which also targets eosinophilic inflammation. GSK and AstraZeneca are competing in this arena as GSK loses ground on its fading superstar Advair.
“The IL-33 receptor antibody joins our diverse respiratory R&D portfolio of targeted biological therapies and offers the potential to block a fundamental driver of the disease,” noted Dave Allen, the respiratory R&D chief at GSK. “Following our recent successful launch of a first-in-class biologic for severe asthma in an eosinophilic population, we plan to investigate this asset’s potential to treat other targeted populations, for which there are currently no effective medicines.”
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