GlaxoSmithKline Allies With Dynavax to Target Autoimmune Diseases

Includes: DVAX, GSK
by: Eben Tessari

GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) and Dynavax (NASDAQ:DVAX) announced a worldwide strategic alliance to discover, develop and commercialize novel inhibitors of endosomal Toll-like Receptors ((TLRs)) for the treatment of immuno-inflammatory diseases. Dynavax’s lead inhibitor drug candidate, DV1079, is a bifunctional inhibitor of TLR7 and TLR9, and is expected to enter clinical development in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Under the terms of the alliance, Dynavax will receive an initial payment of $10 million for which GSK will receive an exclusive option over four programs targeting autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as lupus, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Dynavax is to conduct research and early clinical development in up to four programmes and is eligible to receive future potential development and commercialisation milestones totaling approximately $200 million per programme. GSK can exercise its exclusive option to license each programme upon achievement of proof-of-concept or earlier upon certain circumstances. After exercising its option, GSK will carry out further development and commercialisation of these products. Dynavax will receive tiered, up to double-digit royalties on sales and has retained an option to co-develop and co-promote one specified product.