Since their inception, both Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) and Jounce Therapeutics, Inc. have been striving to transform people’s lives with innovative medicines. Each of them has exceptional strengths, and this has occasioned an exclusive license agreement for a novel immunotherapy program between them. Jounce Therapeutics is licensing its JTX-1811 program and will receive an $85 million upfront payment from Gilead.
Upon closing of the deal, the research-based biopharma will release another $35 million equity investment at a premium. An additional $685 million is expected from future clinical, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments. The transaction’s closure is subject to customary closing conditions, which include antitrust clearance under the Hart-Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
Gilead’s Efforts to Deliver the Right Immunotherapy
Gilead Sciences is so passionate about simplifying care for people battling life-threatening illnesses. Having obtained the JTX-1811 program’s license is a clear indicator that the company is passionate about the delivery of meaningful and the right immunotherapy to the right patient population.
JTX-1811 will be complementary to the company’s oncology candidates, according to the Executive Vice President of Research, William A. Lee. It has the potential of being the first in a new class of therapies in the treatment of both solid tumors and hematological malignancies. Thus, Gilead’s move is not in vain.
“Gilead’s investment in Jounce and, specifically, JTX-1811 reinforces the value of our Translational Science Platform and differentiated and sustainable approach to novel immuno-oncology programs…’’ the CEO of Jounce Therapeutics explained.
Nonetheless, the monoclonal antibody is still not approved anywhere in the world. Hence its efficacy and safety are not established yet. Jounce is expected to lead its development through to IND clearance before Gilead can begin its development.
Jounce has Another Four Development-Stage Programs
The clinical-stage immunotherapy company has been developing therapies, which enable the immune system to attack tumors. Hence, JTX-1811 is not the only program it has in its portfolio. Other programs include JTX-4014, a PD-1 inhibitor, JTX-8064, a LILRB2 (ILT4) receptor antagonist, JTX-8064, about to enter the clinic, and Vopratelimab, a monoclonal antibody currently under study in the EMERGE Phase 2 trial.