Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and MiroBio, a privately-held U.K.-based biotechnology company focused on restoring immune balance with agonists targeting immune inhibitory receptors, today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which Gilead will acquire MiroBio for approximately $405 million in cash, subject to customary adjustments.
The acquisition will provide Gilead with MiroBio’s proprietary discovery platform and the entire portfolio of immune inhibitory receptor agonists. MiroBio’s lead investigational antibody, MB272, is a selective agonist of immune inhibitory receptor B- and T-Lymphocyte Attenuator (BTLA) and has entered Phase 1 clinical trials, with the first patient dosed earlier this week. MB272 targets T, B, and dendritic cells to inhibit or blunt activation and suppress an inflammatory immune response.
MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform (REceptor Selection and Targeting to Reinstate immune Equilibrium) has the potential to be used to develop best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors, a novel approach to the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The I-ReSToRE platform supports the identification and development of therapeutics that utilize inhibitory signaling networks with the goal of restoring immune homeostasis for patients. Gilead anticipates advancing additional agonists derived from MiroBio’s I-ReSToRE platform, including a PD-1 agonist, MB151, and other undisclosed early-stage programs, over the next several years.
“The team at MiroBio has spearheaded foundational research for agonist antibodies following a rigorous scientific approach,” said Flavius Martin, Executive Vice President, Research, Gilead Sciences. “We believe that MiroBio’s unique platform technology has the potential to produce best-in-class agonist antibodies targeting immune inhibitory receptors.”
“We are excited to be joining Gilead,” said Eliot Charles, Chairman of MiroBio. “MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will acquire all of the outstanding share capital of MiroBio for a total of $405 million in cash consideration, subject to customary adjustments, which are payable at closing. Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, consistent with recent industry communications from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gilead no longer excludes acquired IPR&D expenses from its non-GAAP financial measures. We expect the transaction with MiroBio to reduce Gilead’s GAAP and non-GAAP 2022 EPS by approximately $0.30-$0.35. Closing of the transaction is subject to expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and other customary conditions.
Cowen is acting as a financial advisor to Gilead. Centerview Partners is acting as financial advisor to MiroBio. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Mayer Brown LLP, and Mishcon de Reya LLP are serving as legal counsel to Gilead, Goodwin Procter LLP and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati are serving as legal counsel to MiroBio.