Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and Second Genome, a leader in microbiome science, today announced that the companies have entered into a four-year strategic collaboration to identify biomarkers associated with clinical response in up to five of Gilead’s pipeline compounds in inflammation, fibrosis and other diseases, and to identify potential new targets and drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Under the terms of the agreement, Second Genome will utilize its proprietary Microbiome Analytics Platform™ to identify novel biomarkers associated with clinical response to Gilead’s investigational medicines. This work will harness the latest insights in microbiome science to help inform patient stratification and optimize potential treatments for patients in the future. The platform, in combination with additional discovery and development tools, will also seek to identify new targets and drug candidates relevant to IBD. This will include the identification of up to five novel IBD targets or drug candidates over the next four years, with an option to extend the collaboration for an additional two years.
“There is a growing body of evidence that the microbiome plays an important role in disease progression and treatment response in inflammatory diseases,”
said William Lee, PhD, Executive Vice President of Research at Gilead Sciences.
“We look forward to working with Second Genome to investigate the microbiome’s role in inflammatory disease and particularly IBD, where patients can face significant challenges in achieving long-term remission with conventional therapies. This collaboration is the latest example of Gilead’s ongoing commitment to advance research in inflammatory diseases, combining external innovation and insights from Second Genome with our own expertise, as we work to bring forward transformative therapies to improve patient outcomes.”
“The Second Genome platform seeks to redefine diseases through the lens of the microbiome, utilizing this incredible resource to identify potential biomarkers and therapeutics,”
said Karim Dabbagh, PhD, CEO of Second Genome.
“We believe the microbiome holds insight into patient heterogeneity as well as response to specific therapies. These differences enable the identification of important biomarkers to enhance precision medicine for better patient segmentation as well as potential combination therapies. We are excited to be collaborating with Gilead using these approaches in IBD for new biomarkers as well as target and drug candidate discovery, driving toward improved clinical outcomes for patients.”
Second Genome will receive $38 million in an upfront payment, and up to approximately $300 million in success-based preclinical, clinical, regulatory and commercial milestones for each of five target discovery programs as well as low double-digit royalties for any approved products. In addition, it will receive success-based milestones for each validated biomarker delivered under the agreement.
Gilead will have the option to worldwide rights for up to five programs for all diseases as well as exclusive rights to all biomarkers developed under the collaboration.