GSK partners with iTeos to target TIGIT in $2 billion deal

Published: 16 June 2021

GlaxoSmithKline and iTeos Therapeutics will develop and market anti-TIGIT monoclonal antibody EOS-448

Anti-TIGIT immunotherapies are a hot area right now, with early clinical research suggesting that they could boost the effectiveness of checkpoint inhibitors. In many tumor types, checkpoint inhibitors are only suitable for a minority of patients and it’s hoped that a combination of checkpoint inhibitors and TIGIT blockers will benefit a wider patient group. Roche, Merck, BMS, and others already have TIGIF-targeting drugs in development, and now GSK has joined the throng with a co-develop agreement for iTeos’ anti-TIGIT EOS-448.

GSK will make an initial payment of $625 million, with iTeos eligible for another $1.45 billion contingent on EOS-448 meeting development milestones.

In a press release, GSK said that the partnership makes them the only pharma company with antibodies targeting all three known checkpoints in the CD226 checkpoint axis – TIGIT, CD96, and PVRIG.

Hal Barron, CSO and President R&D, GSK, 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.”

A Phase I trial of EOS-488 alongside GSK’s approved checkpoint inhibitor, dostarlimab (Jemperli), is planned for 2022.