ANN ARBOR—Evoq Therapeutics Inc., the Ann Arbor-based immune disease drug development firm, and Foster City, Calif.-based Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) have announced a collaboration and licensing agreement to advance Evoq’s proprietary technology for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
Evoq’s NanoDisc technology is designed to enable lymph-targeted delivery of disease-specific antigens and has the potential to change the paradigm for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Under the agreement, Gilead and Evoq will collaborate on preclinical development. Gilead has the option to exclusively license rights to Evoq’s NanoDisc technology to pursue product candidates for RA and lupus indications and will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization.
“Despite key advances over the past two decades, there remains significant unmet need for people living with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases,” said Flavius Martin, M.D., executive vice president for research at Gilead. “We are excited to collaborate with Evoq to further expand our autoimmune pipeline with the goal of addressing the needs of people living with these conditions.”
Added William Brinkerhoff, CEO of Evoq: “Gilead has an incredible track record in therapeutic development and of delivering innovative medicines to people around the world. We look forward to working with the Gilead team to advance new treatment options for RA and lupus patients.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Evoq could potentially receive up to $658.5 million total in upfront, option exercise and milestone payments across all programs, as well as tiered royalties on product sales.
Beginning in the first quarter of 2022, consistent with recent industry communications from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Gilead no longer excludes acquired intellectual property research and development expenses from its non-GAAP financial measures. The transaction with Evoq is expected to have a minimal financial impact on Gilead’s earnings per share.