Gilead Sciences Inc. announced Tuesday a deal to buy a 49.9% stake in privately held cancer treatment developer Tizona Therapeutics Inc. for $300 million. Gilead also received an option to buy the remainder of Tizona for up to an additional $1.25 billion, including potential future milestone payments. The option to buy the rest of Tizona can be exercised before, or following, the readout of a Phase 1b study of Tizona’s investigational TTX-080 to treat tumors.
The Food and Drug Administration has cleared TTX-080’s investigation drug application, and Tizona plans to initiate a Phase 1 trial in the third quarter.
“Tizona is pursuing first-in-class cancer immunotherapies that could make an important difference in oncology by helping patients who don’t respond to current checkpoint inhibitors,” said Gilead Chief Executive Daniel O’Day. Gilead’s stock, which slipped 0.4% in premarket trading, has rallied 20.2% year to date through Monday, while the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF has advanced 21.0% and the S&P 500 has edged up 0.7%.