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Xencor Licenses HIV Drugs to Pharma Giant Gilead

Monrovia-based biopharma firm Xencor Inc. reached a licensing deal with pharma giant Gilead Sciences Inc. to develop and commercialize a group of Xencor’s antibody drugs to treat HIV.

In exchange for licensing the drugs to Foster City-based Gilead, Xencor will receive an unspecified upfront payment and royalties from future commercialization of the drugs, according to the Jan. 8 announcement.

The lead drug, known as GS-9722, is an anti-HIV antibody therapy currently in Phase 1 clinical development. Gilead now also has the rights to three other Xencor antibody drugs in earlier stages of development.

“This agreement with Gilead expands the potential of XmAb (antibody) technologies to create new therapies for people living with HIV,” Bassil Dahiyat, Xencor’s chief executive, said in the announcement.

Xencor is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases.

The company’s antibody engineering technology enables small changes to the structure of antibodies that result in new pathways for therapies to act.

Xencor currently has 15 drugs in various stages of clinical development, both internally and with partners.

The company reported third-quarter revenue of $21.8 million, but with $36 million in operating expenses, ended the quarter with a $14.3 million loss.

Gilead is a major biopharmaceutical company with an array of drugs to treat a broad range of diseases. It has operations in 35 countries and posted 2018 revenue of $22.1 billion.

Healthcare/biomed, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

Howard Fine
Howard Fine
Howard Fine is a 23-year veteran of the Los Angeles Business Journal. He covers stories pertaining to healthcare, biomedicine, energy, engineering, construction, and infrastructure. He has won several awards, including Best Body of Work for a single reporter from the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and Distinguished Journalist of the Year from the Society of Professional Journalists.
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