„GSK to acquire Aiolos Bio for up to 1.4 billion dollars.“

Last Updated: 10. Januar 2024By

On Tuesday (09/01/2024), the British biopharmaceutical company and asthma drug startup Aiolos Bio announced in a joint press release that they have signed a takeover agreement.

According to the agreement, GSK will initially make a down payment of 1 billion US dollars (USD – equivalent to approximately 910 million euros) for the acquisition of Aiolos Bio. In addition, GSK will transfer up to 400 million USD in milestone payments to the owners of Aiolos Bio if the startup achieves predetermined goals.

Before I explain further details of the acquisition, I would like to introduce the companies involved.

The companies involved in focus GSK plc was founded in 1715 and is based in Brentford (Greater London area). GSK plc (formerly GlaxoSmithKline plc) is a global biopharmaceutical company. The company offers pharmaceutical products in therapeutic areas such as infectious diseases, HIV, immunology, respiratory diseases, and oncology.

GSK employs 70,000 people worldwide, with 15,000 working in research and development. The company has 37 production facilities, 4 research centers, and distributes its products in 112 countries.

In the 2022 fiscal year, GSK achieved a turnover of 29.3 billion British pounds (GBP – equivalent to approximately 34 billion euros) and an operating profit (EBIT) of 6.5 billion GBP (approximately 7.6 billion euros).

Aiolos Bio was founded in 2023 and is based in both London and San Francisco. The privately owned biopharmaceutical startup company specializes in the development of drugs for respiratory and inflammatory diseases.

Currently, Aiolos Bio has the promising antibody AIO-001 in its advanced development pipeline for the treatment of certain respiratory and inflammatory diseases. The antibody was originally developed by the Chinese company Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd., which sold the license rights outside of China to Aiolos Bio.

GSK wants to expand its respiratory portfolio It is precisely this antibody AIO-001 that is a major reason why GSK wants to acquire the startup. AIO-001 has the potential to expand GSK’s respiratory biology portfolio to reach a wider share of asthma patients.

„We have a proud heritage and deep development expertise in respiratory drugs […]. The inclusion of AIO-001, a potentially industry-leading drug […], could expand the reach of our current portfolio of respiratory drugs. This also applies to the 40% of severe asthma patients with low T2 inflammation who still need treatment options,“ said Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer of GSK.

The stock market’s reaction On the day of the announcement of the acquisition intentions, the GSD stock price rose by almost 1.8% and closed at 1,576.20 British pence on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Investors apparently welcome the acquisition of Aiolos Bio.

The deal still needs to be approved by the relevant regulatory authorities. The companies involved have not yet commented on when the transaction is expected to be completed.