Gilead Sciences, Tango Therapeutics in $6.3-Bn Cancer-Drug PactBy
Gilead Sciences and Tango Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company developing cancer therapies, have expanded their strategic collaboration to discover, develop, and commercialize targeted immune-evasion therapies for cancer in a deal worth up to $6.3 billion ($120 million upfront, $20-million equity take, and $6.15 billion in opt-in, extension, and milestone payments).
Under the expanded multi-year collaboration, which builds on an agreement signed by the companies in 2018, Tango will continue to use its proprietary, CRISPR-enabled functional genomics target discovery platform to identify novel immune-evasion targets. The number of targets covered will expand from five to 15. Gilead will have options to global rights for programs directed at these targets over the next seven years. Gilead will also have the right to pay option extension fees for Tango to lead activities through early clinical development, to which Gilead will retain its option rights. Tango will have the option to co-develop and co-promote the lead products for up to five programs in the US.
Under the terms of the collaboration, Gilead will make a $125-million upfront payment to Tango and a $20-million equity investment in Tango. In addition, Gilead will have the right to option up to 15 programs over the seven-year collaboration for up to $410 million per program in opt-in, extension and milestone payments. Tango will also be eligible to receive up to low double-digit tiered royalties on net sales. For those products that Tango opts to co-develop and co-promote, the parties will equally split profits and losses, as well as development costs, in the US, and Tango will be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties on ex-US sales.
The collaboration excludes Tango’s lead programs, including one program that is expected to be in investigational new drug (IND) application-enabling studies next year (2021). Tango also retains the rights to identify targets outside the immune-evasion space as it continues to build its wholly owned pipeline.
Founded in 2017, Tango applies “synthetic lethality” to discover and develop therapies that take aim at driver genes in cancer. The company is focused on three core areas: counteracting tumor suppressor gene loss, reversing the ability of cancer cells to evade the immune system, and identifying combinations that will be more effective than single-agent therapies.