GlaxoSmithKline Ends One Relationship with Five Prime

GlaxoSmithKline the pharmaceutical giant based in the UK has cut its ties with Five Prime Therapeutics in cancer therapy development backing out during an ongoing mesothelioma trial.

GSK handed a 180-day notice to Five Prime that it was ending its license to FP-1030, which was designed to block cancer from spreading by interrupting the protein signaling.

This decision follows the January move by GSK to stop the developing of FP-1039 in non-small cell squamous lung cancer because of the increase of immune-oncology treatments from Bristol-Myers, Merck amongst others, citing treatment paradigm changes.

At this time, GSK is ready to abandon a treatment it had inherited due to its acquisition for $3 billion back in 2012 of Human Genome Sciences.

This decision leaves Five Prime alone in its ongoing studying testing the drug against mesothelioma.

In a prepared statement, Five Prime announced its intentions of working with GSK to finish the study’s enrollment, adding it remains encouraged due to the potential of the drug in mesothelioma.

GSK is pulling back from the oncology pipeline of Five Prime, but two companies are still partnered in Research and Development.

In 2014, Five Prime and GSK renewed a deal to develop different therapies for COPD and refractory asthma.

The new deal comes after another in 2012 between the two.

Five Prime however is riding high still on an agreement reached in October with pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers in which it was given up front over $350 million and signed up to receive up to $1.4 billion more for the rights to a program of immunology.

Bristol-Myers hopes to pair immune regulating treatments together with its own therapies for cancer. Share of Five Prime have increased by almost 82% since the October deal was announced.

The loss by Five Prime in its deal with GSK will hurt temporarily but it likely will be able to find another pharmaceutical to partner with in the trial.