GSK To Buy Drug Biz For $1.4B: Deal to Acquire Aiolos Bio Inc. Unveiled

GSK To Buy Drug Biz For $1.4B

In a bold move to bolster its respiratory treatments arsenal, GSK PLC, the British pharmaceutical giant, announced a groundbreaking deal on Tuesday, unveiling plans to acquire Aiolos Bio Inc., a clinical-stage asthma drug developer, in a transaction valued at a staggering $1.4 billion.

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GSK To Buy Drug Biz For $1.4B : GSK’s Strategic Play

Under the terms of the deal, GSK is set to make an upfront payment of $1 billion to Aiolos Bio Inc., with an additional $400 million contingent upon the successful achievement of regulatory milestones. This move signals GSK’s proactive stance in expanding its portfolio and strengthening its position in the competitive pharmaceutical landscape.

Aiolos’ Asthma Game-Changer

Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer of GSK, hailed the acquisition as a game-changer, providing GSK access to Aiolos’ AIO-001, a treatment touted as “potentially best-in-class” for long-acting asthma therapy in adults. Wood stated, “Adding AIO-001 could expand the reach of our current respiratory biologics portfolio,” emphasizing its potential impact on the 40% of severe asthma sufferers still in need of effective treatment options.

GSK To Buy Drug Biz For $1.4B : Exclusive Licensing Dynamics

AIO-001, the pivotal asset in this deal, was exclusively licensed to Aiolos outside China by Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd. GSK acknowledges its commitment to this partnership, with milestone payments and royalties earmarked for Jiangsu Hengrui.

Regulatory Hurdles: Hart-Scott-Rodino Act

However, this groundbreaking move is not without its challenges. The transaction is subject to regulatory agency clearances under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act in the U.S. This legislation requires merging companies, like GSK and Aiolos, to notify the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, allowing them time to assess if the transaction warrants scrutiny. The current size threshold triggering regulatory review is $111.4 million.

The Asthma Landscape: Numbers Speak

The World Health Organization estimates that asthma affected a staggering 262 million people in 2019, resulting in 455,000 deaths. With Aiolos Bio Inc.’s expertise and GSK’s strategic vision, there’s hope for a transformative impact on global asthma treatment.

GSK To Buy Drug Biz For $1.4B : Aiolos CEO’s Optimism

Khurem Farooq, CEO of Aiolos, expressed optimism about the potential of this transaction, stating that it could “rapidly advance this therapy in the hopes of significantly reducing the treatment burden for patients.”

GSK To Buy Drug Biz For $1.4B : Market Response

As news of the acquisition broke, shares in GSK experienced a surge. Trading on the FTSE 100 index in London, GSK’s stocks rose to 1,565 pence ($19.90) at midday Tuesday, reflecting a 1% increase from the previous close at 1,549 pence on Monday.