GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and iTeos Therapeutics have signed an agreement to co-develop and co-commercialise EOS-448, an anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody presently under phase I development as a potential treatment for cancer patients.
TIGIT, a part of the CD226 checkpoint axis, has shown potential as a promising target for the next generation of immuno-oncology therapies based on preclinical data and a second phase randomised clinical trial.
This collaboration enables GSK to have access to antibodies that synergistically target all three known CD226 checkpoints – TIGIT, CD96 and PVRIG.
GSK chief scientific officer and president for R&D Dr Hal Barron said: “Immuno-oncology has transformed cancer care but unfortunately less than 30 percent of patients respond to treatment with the current leading immune checkpoint inhibitors.
“Based on the underlying science, we believe that combinations of a PD-1, TIGIT, CD96 and PVRIG inhibitor could become transformative medicines for many patients with cancer. We are excited to collaborate with the team at iTeos and together we can play a leading role in the next generation of immuno-oncology therapies.”
Given that GSK validated the role of CD226 axis targets as key in oncology, the firm has been strategically developing a carefully constructed set of assets to target this network of checkpoint inhibitors.
The addition of EOS-448 leads to GSK being the only firm with antibodies targeting all three known checkpoints – TIGIT (via EOS-448), CD96 (via GSK’608), and PVRIG (via GSK’562).
Along with GSK’s recently approved anti-PD-1, Jemperli (dostarlimab), this portfolio of potential next generation immuno-oncology agents will be explored through several novel combinations, including doublets and triplets, to analyse their potential to transform treatment options for patients suffering with several different cancers.
iTeos president and CEO Michel Detheux said: “Through this transformative collaboration, iTeos now has access to GSK’s best-in-class resources which will provide us with a significant advantage in a highly competitive, global market. We have chosen GSK because of their commercial capabilities, experience in immuno-oncology and their commitment to invest in the rapid advancement of our TIGIT programme and create a clear path forward for EOS-448.
“Inspired by the multifaceted mechanism of action of EOS-448 and promising early results in clinical trials, this collaboration allows us to accelerate and expand the clinical development of EOS-448. We are more confident than ever in our ability to succeed. This collaboration validates our science and provides a catalyst for the future of iTeos. The collaboration with GSK will allow our team to continue to develop next generation immunotherapies starting with inupadenant, our highly differentiated clinical-stage A2A adenosine receptor antagonist, and to drive scientific innovation with our expertise in tumour immunology to build our pipeline.”
Currently, EOS-448 is in an open-label phase I study in patients suffering with advanced solid tumours.
The two firms intend to commence combination studies of EOS-448 with dostarlimab next year.
GSK’608, an anti-CD96 being developed in collaboration with 23andMe, is in phase I as monotherapy and in combination with dostarlimab.
GSK plans to submit an Investigational New Drug application for GSK’562, an anti-PVRIG in-licensed as SRF-813 from Surface Oncology, by mid of next year.
As per the terms of the collaboration agreement, iTeos will secure an upfront payment of $625m.
iTeos will be eligible to get up to an additional $1.45bn as milestone payments, if the EOS-448 programme meets some development and commercial milestones.
The collaboration will see GSK and iTeos share responsibility and costs for the global development of EOS-448.
They will jointly commercialise and equally split profits in the US.
Beyond the US, GSK will get an exclusive license for commercialisation, while iTeos will get tiered royalty payments.
The collaboration deal is, however, conditional upon customary conditions including review by the regulatory agencies.