Gilead Sciences, Second Genome in Pact For Inflammatory Disease Drug Finds

Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD) and Second Genome have entered into a four-year partnership aimed at joining forces in biomarker research and discovery of drugs to treat inflammatory bowel disease.

The partnership seeks to identify as many as five new drug candidates for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease over the next four years, with an option to extend the collaboration for an additional two years.

Under the terms of the agreement, Second Genome will receive $38 million in an upfront payment, and as much as $300 million in success-based milestones. Gilead will have the option to worldwide rights for up to five drugs as well as exclusive rights to all biomarkers developed under the collaboration.

As part of the collaboration, Second Genome will utilize its microbiome analytics platform to identify biomarkers which show clinical response to Gilead’s experimental medicines.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the microbiome plays an important role in disease progression and treatment response in inflammatory diseases,” said William Lee, PhD, Executive Vice President of Research at Gilead Sciences. “We look forward to working with Second Genome to investigate the microbiome’s role in inflammatory disease, where patients can face significant challenges in achieving long-term remission with conventional therapies.”

TipRanks analytics show that out of the 21 analysts covering the stock in the past three months, 10 are bullish with a Buy rating on Gilead stock, 9 are sidelined with a Hold rating and 2 are bearish with a Sell rating, adding up to a Moderate Buy consensus rating. The 12-month average price target of $76.88 projects 1.7% downside potential. (See Gilead stock analysis on TipRanks)  
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