Gilead pays $43M to li­cense Xilio’s IL-12 pro­gram that could turn ‘cold’ tu­mors ‘hot’

Xilio Ther­a­peu­tics had a bevy of an­nounce­ments on Thurs­day — it en­tered a li­cens­ing deal for its Phase 1 IL-12 pro­gram with Gilead, took an in­vest­ment from pri­vate in­vestors, shuf­fled its pipeline and is lay­ing off 15 em­ploy­ees.

Gilead is plac­ing a $43.5 mil­lion bet on Xilio’s en­gi­neered in­ter­leukin-12, a cy­tokine that reg­u­lates the im­mune sys­tem and could be used to treat can­cers. Gilead’s de­ci­sion to buy in­to an IL-12 pro­gram comes af­ter oth­er Big Phar­ma com­pa­nies like As­traZeneca and Bris­tol My­ers Squibb scrapped their IL-12 can­di­dates.

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