23andMe Announces Extension of GSK Collaboration and Update on Joint Immuno-oncology Program
GSK extends exclusive target discovery period of collaboration for a fifth year to discover and validate novel drug targets using 23andMe’s proprietary genetic and health survey database
23andMe elects for royalty option as GSK advances immuno-oncology antibody collaboration program targeting CD96 into development
Company will discuss at its R&D Day event today at 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- 23andMe Holding Co. (Nasdaq: ME) (“23andMe”), a leading consumer genetics and therapeutics company, today provided an update on its collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline plc (“GSK”). GSK has elected to exercise its option to extend the exclusive target discovery period of the ongoing collaboration with 23andMe for an additional year to July 2023. 23andMe will receive a one-time payment of $50 million to extend the period. In addition, 23andMe has elected to take a royalty option on its joint immuno-oncology antibody collaboration program with GSK targeting CD96 (GSK6097608, a.k.a. GSK’608), currently in Phase 1 studies. GSK will be solely responsible for GSK’608’s subsequent development in later-stage clinical trials, including full development costs moving forward.
“The collaboration with GSK has been very productive. In less than four years, under this collaboration, we have identified over 40 therapeutic programs and have advanced an immuno- oncology antibody targeting CD96 into clinical development,” said Kenneth Hillan, Head of Therapeutics at 23andMe. “GSK’s decision to extend the exclusive target discovery period of our collaboration for an additional year demonstrates the enthusiasm for our collaboration and the value our database provides for identifying targets and advancing new medicines based on human genetics.”
“Our collaboration with 23andMe continues to exceed expectations, with more than 40 genetically validated drug discovery programs in the GSK portfolio that were initiated under the collaboration,” said John Lepore, SVP and Head of Research at GSK. “Evidence shows that genetically validated drug targets have at least double the probability of success in becoming medicines; today more than 70% of our targets in research have genetic validation. Working with 23andMe for an additional year will continue to strengthen the quality and breadth of our pipeline and reinforce GSK’s long-term focus on human genetics, the immune system and advanced technologies to discover and develop transformational new medicines for patients.”
“The CD96 program is a prime example of the potential value we bring to drug discovery and development. Through our genetic validation and based on the Phase 1a data, we are hopeful that targeting CD96 will have the potential to provide cancer patients with a new medicine in the fight against cancer,” states Hillan. “We believe GSK is in the best position to move this program forward because of its leading portfolio of antibodies targeting the CD96 axis, and their ability to conduct the complex clinical studies of combination therapies that the development plan will require. This decision also allows 23andMe to strategically invest capital and resources into advancing our diverse portfolio of therapeutic programs.”
23andMe’s Therapeutics team was established in 2015 with the goal to improve the way drug discovery is currently conducted by starting with human genetic information. With approximately 12 million genotyped customers, of which approximately 80 percent consent to research, 23andMe has the world’s largest set of genotypic information paired with billions of phenotypic data points contributed by engaged research participants.
About the GSK and 23andMe Collaboration
For joint projects, program costs and profits in relevant territories (US, UK and EU) are split (50% / 50%), with each company having certain rights to opt-out of further funding or reduce its funding share for any joint collaboration program at certain defined development milestones. The company that opts out of the cost/profit split is eligible to receive a worldwide royalty, or in the case of reduced funding, an adjusted percentage of profits or royalty outside the relevant territories, if the program is successfully commercialized.
Additionally, GSK made a $300M equity investment in 23andMe, Inc. in 2018.
About the CD96 Program
GSK’608 is now being dosed in combination with GSK’s PD-1 blocking drug, dostarlimab, in a Phase 1 clinical trial. Additional studies will potentially also involve combinations with other anticancer treatments, such as anti-TIGIT and anti-PVRIG drugs.
Prior to taking the worldwide royalty election, the CD96 program was advanced under a 50/50 cost share and a profit share arrangement between 23andMe and GSK in the shared territories of US, UK and EU with a tiered royalty for other territories. With the worldwide royalty option, 23andMe will be eligible to earn tiered worldwide royalties up to the low double digits if GSK’608 is successfully brought to market. This option allows 23andMe to retain economic upside if GSK’608 is successfully brought to market but will no longer be contributing to the development costs as the program advances into later, larger and more complex clinical studies. This allows 23andMe to invest further in its advancing pipeline of therapeutic programs, largely identified under the GSK collaboration. In addition, if GSK’608 is successful in achieving market authorization, 23andMe will not be required to contribute to marketing and commercialization costs.
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