GSK share price: Group teams up with Merck over potential immunotherapy drug

By: Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son
Tsveta van Son is part of Invezz’s journalist team. She has a BA degree in European Studies and a… read more.
on Feb 5, 2019
Updated: Mar 11, 2020

GlaxoSmithKline (LON:GSK) has unveiled an alliance with Merck over a prospective immunotherapy treatment as it looks to strengthen its pharmaceuticals pipeline. The news comes as the London-listed pharmco prepares to update investors on its full-year performance tomorrow.

GSK’s share price has climbed higher in London in today’s session, having gained 1.42 percent to 1,501.00p as of 13:33 GMT. The advance is largely in line with the broader market rally which has seen the benchmark FTSE 100 index add 1.31 percent to 7,126.13 points so far today.

GSK and Merck to co-develop treatment

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GSK announced in a statement today that it had entered into a global strategic alliance with Merck to jointly develop and commercialise M7824 – an investigational bifunctional fusion protein immunotherapy in clinical development, including potential registration studies, for multiple difficult-to-treat cancers. Those include a late-stage trial to investigate the prospective drug compared with pembrolizumab as a first-line treatment in patients with PD-L1 expressing advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Merck will receive an upfront payment of €300 million (£260 million) and is eligible for potential development milestone payments of up to €500 million (£440 million) triggered by data from the M7824 lung cancer programme, as well as  future approval and commercial milestones of up to €2.9 billion (£2.5 billion), for a total potential deal value of up to €3.7 billion (£3.2 billion).

GSK noted that the alliance was a further step its priority to strengthen its pharmaceuticals pipeline.

FTSE 100 pharmco to post results tomorrow

GSK is scheduled to update investors on its performance tomorrow, amid the looming threat of a generic Advair as the US Food and Drug Administration approved the first copycat version of the FTSE 100 group’s flagship respiratory drug last week.

As of 14:17 GMT, Tuesday, 05 February, GlaxoSmithKline plc share price is 1,501.00p.

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