Gilead Sciences announced Tuesday that it has bought the remaining rights to Jounce Therapeutics’ immunotherapy GS-1811.

As part of the license agreement that was first executed in August 2020, Jounce will receive $67 million in proceeds, while Gilead will take sole responsibility for further research, development and commercialization of GS-1811 globally.

Gilead will acquire intellectual property related to the potentially first-in-class immunotherapy, anti-CCR8 antibody. 

Additionally, Jounce will not be eligible for the remaining contingent payments of up to $645 million in milestones or royalties based upon worldwide sales under the original license agreement.

GS-1811 is designed to “selectively deplete immunosuppressive tumor-infiltrating T regulatory cells” in the tumor microenvironment. The drug candidate is currently in Phase 1 clinical development as a possible treatment for patients with solid tumors.

“We are pleased to announce the signing of this transaction with Gilead, who have a strong track record of developing and successfully commercializing leading brands in biotechnology,” Jounce CEO Richard Murray, Ph.D. said in a statement. “This transaction allows us to extend our runway and remain focused on delivering meaningful and long-lasting benefits to cancer patients.”

Murray added that it was important for the company to bolster its cash reserves, citing “challenges in capital markets for biotech companies.”

As for Gilead, the company stated that the Jounce transaction is expected to reduce its GAAP and non-GAAP 2022 earnings per share by approximately $0.04.

“Today’s news about GS-1811 further demonstrates our commitment to our rapidly evolving oncology franchise and mission of pioneering next-generation medicines for people with cancer,” Bill Grossman, M.D., Ph.D., SVP and therapeutic area head at Gilead Oncology said in a statement. “GS-1811, with its potential new pathway of activating the immune system, gives us the opportunity to potentially change the standard of care with a treatment that works from inside cancerous cells to shrink solid tumors.”

Most recently, Kite, a Gilead Sciences unit, announced that it would acquire Tmunity Therapeutics and expand its pipeline with the biotech’s next-generation CAR T therapies and technologies. The deal is expected to close in early 2023.

According to Gilead’s latest earnings report, the company recorded revenue declines of 5% due to lower Veklury sales. Additionally, the company’s diluted EPS decreased to $1.42 in Q3 2022, down from $2.05 in Q3 2021.