US Bio-Pharma Company Gilead Sciences buys Oxford Biotech Company MiroBio for $405 Million

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U.S.-based pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has announced plans to acquire MiroBio, an Oxford University biotech spin-off, for $405 million in cash. MiroBio’s research technology and portfolio of immunosuppressive receptor agonists will be acquired by Gilead.


The acquisition will be completed after the expiration or completion of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act waiting period and several other criteria.

MiroBio is a clinical-stage startup focused on developing drugs to “immune balance” patients with autoimmunity, which occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. The company, spun off from Oxford University in 2019 and led by Professors Simon Davis and Richard Cornall, has since raised $130 million in venture capital, including in June from a range of backers including Oxford Scientific Enterprises (OSE) raised $97 million. ), an investment firm that has backed more than 100 Oxford spin-offs since its inception in 2015.

MiroBio’s experimental flagship antibody, MB272, is a B and T lymphocyte attenuator (BTLA) agonist with selective immunosuppressive receptors.

It’s currently in Phase I clinical trials, and the first person has recently received a dose.

The antibody inhibits or inhibits the activation of T, B and dendritic cells, thereby controlling the inflammatory immune response.

Gilead started as an oligogene in 1987 and is developing antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, influenza, and most recently, COVID-19. The company raised sales guidance this week on anticipated demand for its COVID-19 drug Veklury, which was approved by the FDA earlier this year.

“The MiroBio team has pioneered basic research on agonistic antibodies using a rigorous scientific approach,” said Flavius ​​Martin, executive vice president of scientific research at Gilead. “We believe MiroBio’s unique platform technology has the potential to produce first-in-class agonist antibodies against immunosuppressive receptors.”

“We are delighted to be joining Gilead,” said MiroBio Chairman Elliott Charles. “MiroBio has a thorough understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and has a proprietary method to select and generate high-quality agonist antibodies. Combined with Gilead’s drug development and expertise in therapeutic areas, we will be able to fully Explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies in patients with autoimmune diseases.”

Terms and Conditions of the Deal

Under the terms of the transaction, Gilead will acquire all of MiroBio’s existing common stock for a total cash consideration of $405 million, payable upon closing of the transaction after normal adjustments. Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, Gilead will no longer deduct IPR&D charges for acquisitions from its non-GAAP financial measures, according to recent industry filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Oxford and neighbouring Cambridge have long attracted venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. Google acquired AI-focused Cambridge spinoff DeepMind in 2014 and two AI-focused teams from Oxford later that same year.

DeepReason, a spin-off from Oxford University, recently surfaced. Meltwater acquired AI for $7.3 million in November.


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