Gilead Sciences announced three multi-year collaborations with Tentarix Biotherapeutics to develop cancer and inflammatory disease therapies.

As part of the agreement unveiled Tuesday, Gilead will utilize Tentarix’s proprietary Tentacles platform to discover and develop multi-function, conditional protein therapeutics in those select research areas. 

Notably, Tentarix will receive $66 million from Gilead through upfront payments and an equity investment. Additionally, Gilead has the option to acquire up to three selected Tentarix subsidiaries containing the programs developed through the partnership for $80 million per subsidiary.

The collaboration, which bolsters Gilead’s efforts in the oncology space, is expected to reduce Gilead’s GAAP 2023 earnings per share by $0.03 to $0.04.

“This early-stage collaboration with Tentarix will be highly synergistic to our ongoing efforts, building upon our growing strength in protein therapeutics, and may provide access to next-generation, multi-specific biologics,” said Flavius Martin, MD, VP of research at Gilead, in a statement

Tentarix CEO Paul Grayson said joining forces with Gilead will allow the company to “rapidly advance new medicines to the clinic.”

A joint press release stated that these protein therapeutics have the potential to “conditionally target immune cells related to disease pathways” without activating other immune cells that may create adverse events.

Gilead announced the Tentarix deal less than two weeks after releasing its most recent earnings report.

On the topline, Gilead’s total revenues increased by 5% to $6.6 billion, thanks largely to sales of HIV and oncology products. Additionally, the company’s liver disease segment recorded a 4% increase in revenues while cell therapy product sales jumped 27% to $469 million.

This also marks one of the more significant transactions for Gilead since it acquired XinThera in May, which was also done in order to boost its oncology and inflammation pipeline.

As for Tentarix, this is a major development for a biotech that was founded in late 2021 with a $50 million Series A funding round co-led by Versant Ventures and Samsara BioCapital.

After its debut, the San Diego-based company formed a Scientific Advisory Board and appointed a board of directors as well as a leadership team in mid-2022.