Gilead Sciences Invests $100 Million in Assembly Bio for Antiviral Breakthroughs

Gilead Sciences, a leading biopharmaceutical company, has embarked on a landmark 12-year collaboration with Assembly Bio, marking a significant stride in the realm of antiviral research and development. The partnership will initially target Assembly Bio’s specialized areas encompassing herpesviruses, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis D virus. Following the announcement, Assembly Biosciences witnessed a modest decline in its shares.


At the time of this publication, Assembly Biosciences Inc stock (ASMB) has witnessed a decline.
Assembly Biosciences Inc
Current Price: $0.9
Change : -0.26
Change (%): (-20.79%)
Volume: 8.0M
Source: Tomorrow Events Market Data


Under the terms of the agreement, Gilead will provide Assembly Bio with a substantial sum of $100 million, comprising an upfront payment of $84.8 million, coupled with a $15.2 million equity investment. This investment grants Gilead an initial equity stake of 19.9% in Assembly Bio’s voting stock at the closing date, executed at a premium.


In addition, Gilead will also secure a 29.9% premium stake in Assembly Bio’s outstanding voting shares, contingent upon specified conditions.


Crucially, Gilead retains the option to obtain exclusive rights to all of Assembly Bio’s ongoing and forthcoming programs, including two preclinical initiatives centering on HSV and transplant-associated herpesviruses, currently under Assembly Bio’s licensing. This option is exercisable upon demonstration of clinical proof-of-concept, necessitating a minimum payment of $45 million per program.


Remarkably, Assembly Bio stands to potentially earn up to $330 million per program through a combination of regulatory and commercial milestones, as well as royalties. Additionally, the company is slated to receive three separate payments of $75 million at specified intervals throughout the course of the collaborative endeavor, earmarked to bolster forthcoming research and development initiatives.


In the pursuit of this venture, Assembly Bio will spearhead the research and development efforts for the collaborative programs, including two initiatives contributed by Gilead prior to Gilead’s prospective opt-in.


Post Gilead’s opt-in, the company will exercise command over the entire spectrum encompassing discovery, research, development, and eventual commercialization of the chosen programs.


In an instrumental move, Gilead will be empowered to appoint two individuals to Assembly Bio’s board of directors.


Tomas Cihlar, Senior Vice-President of Gilead Virology Research, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are excited to announce this partnership with Assembly Bio to synergize our efforts on advancing and accelerating the discovery and development of novel antiviral therapeutics.”


This alliance between Gilead Sciences and Assembly Biosciences heralds a promising era in the pursuit of cutting-edge antiviral therapies, propelling scientific progress towards the mitigation of prevalent viral infections. The collaboration holds the potential to revolutionize treatment paradigms and significantly impact global public health.


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