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  • Conversation: Gilead makes a play for novel cancer drug with Tizona deal

    • July 22, 2020 7:51 PM BST
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      Gilead makes a play for novel cancer drug with Tizona deal

      Gilead has made a play for another small oncology specialist, Tizona Therapeutics, as it continues its foray into the immunotherapy research and development space.
      The deal focuses on Tizona’s lead antibody, TTX-080, which is currently being investigated in a phase 1b study. TTX-080 is a HLA-G inhibitor, an emerging immune checkpoint that is expressed across a number of tumour types.
      By developing treatments that target HLA-G, which often appears distinct to PD-1/L-1 immune checkpoints, researchers hope that they can address tumours that do not respond to current anti-PD-1/L1 therapies and deepen responses in tumours that are sensitive to these treatments.
      Under the terms of the deal, Gilead has made an upfront payment to Tizona of $300m, securing 49.9% equity interest in the company. Gilead has also agreed an exclusive option to fully acquire Tizona following the completion of the phase 1b studies for TTX-080, but this is not dependent on this milestone – Gilead can buy out the biotech earlier if it chooses.
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