Rare Daily Staff
Gilead Sciences and Goldfinch Bio said they have entered into a strategic collaboration to discover, develop, and commercialize a pipeline of therapeutics for diabetic kidney disease (DKD) and certain rare kidney diseases worth $55 million in upfront payments and nearly $2 billion in potential milestones.
Under the multi-year collaboration, Gilead has exclusive options to license worldwide rights to certain products directed toward targets identified by Goldfinch’s Kidney Genome Atlas (KGA), a comprehensive registry of patients with kidney diseases integrating genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic data with patient clinical profiles.
In addition, Goldfinch will use its biology platform of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived kidney cells and kidney organoids to validate targets and support discovery and development of products to which Gilead will have exclusive option rights. Through sequencing the DNA of a large cohort of diabetic patients with and without kidney disease, Goldfinch will expand the scope of the KGA beyond orphan kidney diseases to include DKD.
“Goldfinch has established unique genetic and biology platforms that will allow for the identification and validation of novel targets for kidney disease and for the discovery and development of novel compounds,” said John McHutchison, chief scientific officer and head of research and development at Gilead Sciences.
In addition to target identification and validation, the agreement calls for Goldfinch to lead discovery and development activities prior to exercise of exclusive option rights by Gilead, at which time Gilead will be responsible for the development and commercialization of optioned products. Goldfinch retains the option to lead development and co-promote optioned products directed to specific kidney disease targets.
Under the terms of the agreement, Goldfinch will receive $55 million in upfront payments, which includes a $5 million equity investment, and an additional $54 million to support the development of the KGA platform for DKD.
Goldfinch is also eligible to receive up to $1.95 billion in potential payments for the first five collaboration programs based on the successful achievement of research, development, regulatory and commercial milestones, and tiered royalties on sales of potential products originating from the collaboration.
Additionally, Goldfinch retains the option to equally share in U.S. profits for certain optioned products in certain pre-defined kidney indications. Development costs for profit share products will be shared among the two parties in a manner commensurate with product rights.
“There is significant unmet need to improve health outcomes for patients
with kidney diseases,” said Tony Johnson, Goldfinch’s president and CEO. “This
partnership will leverage Goldfinch’s KGA platform to identify new therapeutic
targets and Gilead’s proven track record of efficiently advancing life-saving
therapies for patients.”
Photo: Tony Johnson, Goldfinch’s president and CEO