accelerate Adaptimmune’s lead clinical cancer program, an affinity enhanced T-cell immunotherapy (GSK3377794) targeting NY-
ESO-1, toward pivotal trials in synovial sarcoma. Adaptimmune
and GSK formed a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement in June 2014 for up to five programs, including the lead
NY-ESO TCR program. GSK has an option on the NY-ESO-1
program through clinical proof of concept and, on exercise, will
assume full responsibility for the program. The companies will
accelerate the development of Adaptimmune’s NY-ESO therapy
into pivotal studies in synovial sarcoma and will explore development in myxoid round cell liposarcoma. Additionally, the companies may initiate up to eight proof-of-principle studies exploring
combinations with other therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors. According to the expanded development plan, the studies
will be conducted by Adaptimmune with GSK effectively funding
the pivotal studies and sharing the costs of the combination studies via a success based milestone structure.
VBI Vaccines entered into a research collaboration with GSK
Biologicals SA to evaluate VBI’s LPV Platform. VBI’s LPV Platform
is a proprietary formulation and process that enables the development of vaccines and biologics with improved stability and
preserved potency. GSK has the option to negotiate an exclusive
license to VBI’s LPV Platform for use in a defined field. Stability
is a critical issue potentially affecting vaccine potency, safety and
ultimately patient access. The LPV Platform uses a proprietary
formulation and process to enclose and protect the antigen (
active component) of a vaccine or biologic. VBI has completed proof
of concept studies on a number of vaccine and biologic targets
that demonstrate the LPV Platform’s ability to preserve potency
under stress conditions.
Lastly, Codexis, a protein engineering company, completed the
third and final wave in the transfer of its CodeEvolver protein engineering platform technology to GSK, which paid $7.5 million for
completion of this milestone in the second quarter of 2016. The
agreement grants GSK a license to use Codexis’CodeEvolver platform technology to develop novel enzymes for use in the manufacture of GSK’s pharmaceutical and health care products. Codexis
has the potential to receive additional milestone payments ranging
from $5.75 million to $38.5 million per project based on GSK’s successful application of the licensed technology. Codexis is also eligible to receive royalties based on sales for products using Codexis’
CodeEvolver technology. The CodeEvolver platform technology is
operational at a GSK R&D facility in Pennsylvania.
In other news during the year, GSK opened a $90 million expansion at an antibiotics factory, enabling the pharma giant to
make antibiotics for an extra 100 million patients each year at
the plant in Irvine, North Ayrshire. The site has been expanded
to meet growing demand from the developing world and emerging markets and the investment creates 55 new jobs with a 35%
boost in capacity. The expansion is part of GSK’s roughly $360
million investment in Scotland since 2013 between its sites in Irvine and Montrose, Angus. Also, an additional $260 million of
investment funding was announced at the opening.
In terms of divestitures, GSK sold to Mayne Pharma a portfolio of marketed dermatology Foam Assets from for $50.1 million.
The assets include U.S. rights to Fabior and Sorilux, Canadian
rights to Luxiq and Olux-E and Mexican rights to betamethasone
foam. Mayne Pharma acquired the approved regulatory filings,
trademarks, marketing materials, select product inventory, and
will acquire or obtain licenses for related patents. CP
WORKING WITH THE FRANCIS CRICK INSTITUTE
GSK joins forces with world-leading biomedical research center
A landmark collaboration between GSK and the Francis Crick Institute aims to achieve new breakthroughs in understanding and treating
diseases. The open innovation collaboration combines GSK’s pharmaceutical R&D expertise with the Crick’s deep knowledge of disease biology.
The mutual aim is to explore new avenues of medical research and
drug discovery across a range of diseases. The collaboration takes a ‘
Lin-kLabs’ approach to working, with teams of scientists from each organization working side-by-side in integrated teams at the Crick’s center of
biomedical research in the heart of London and GSK’s global R&D hub in
Stevenage. GSK and the Crick believe this fluid interchange of skills and
ideas benefits both sides, introducing new ways of working and stimulating the development of novel approaches to problems. By pooling knowledge and resources the goal of the collaboration is ultimately to improve
the success rate for discovering new medicines.
In the spirit of open innovation, research findings from the collaboration will be
shared externally, via joint publication in peer-reviewed journals. This will enable important discoveries to be applied across the
research community, maximizing the potential to progress scientific understanding and accelerate the development of treatments for
The Francis Crick Institute is a charity funded by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, University
College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London.