Wednesday, 18 May 2022

GSK acquires late-stage biopharma firm Sierra Oncology for $1.9 B

14 April 2022 | News

Sierra Oncology’s differentiated momelotinib has the potential to address the critical unmet medical needs of myelofibrosis patients with anaemia

image credit- shutterstock

image credit- shutterstock

GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) and Sierra Oncology, Inc have entered into an agreement under which GSK will acquire Sierra Oncology, a California-based, late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on targeted therapies for the treatment of rare forms of cancer, for $55 per share of common stock in cash representing an approximate total equity value of $1.9 billion.

Myelofibrosis is a fatal cancer of the bone marrow impacting the normal production of blood cells. Anaemia represents a high unmet medical need in patients with myelofibrosis. At diagnosis, approximately 40% of patients are already anaemic, and it is estimated that nearly all patients will eventually develop anaemia.

Momelotinib has a differentiated mode of action with inhibitory activity along key signalling pathways. This activity may lead to beneficial treatment effects on anaemia and reduce the need for transfusions while also treating symptoms. In January 2022, Sierra Oncology announced positive topline results from the MOMENTUM phase III trial. The study met all its primary and key secondary endpoints, demonstrating that momelotinib achieved a statistically significant and clinically meaningful benefit on symptoms, splenic response, and anaemia.

Momelotinib complements GSK’s Blenrep (belantamab mafodotin), building on GSK’s commercial and medical expertise in haematology. If the transaction is completed and momelotinib is approved by regulatory authorities, GSK expects momelotinib will contribute to GSK’s growing specialty medicines business, with sales expected to begin in 2023, with significant growth potential and a positive benefit to the Group’s adjusted operating margin in the medium term.

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