Gilead inks $66M-plus deal with Tentarix in oncology, inflammatory diseases

Tentarix Biotherapeutics is emerging from its den to ink a multi-pronged deal with Gilead Sciences to work on therapies for oncology and inflammatory diseases worth $66 million upfront, including an equity payment.

The biotech develops therapies using its Tentacles platform for multifunctional conditional protein therapeutics, which are designed to target immune cells related to diseases without activating others that can cause adverse events.

Gilead is looking to bolster its protein therapeutics pipeline, so the early-stage collaboration with Tentarix will fit right in, according to Flavius Martin, M.D., executive vice president of research at the pharma.

Tentarix will be up for $66 million right away, including upfront payments and an equity investment. The exact breakdown was not detailed in the Tuesday release. The partnership includes three multi-year collaborations using the Tentacles platform. Gilead will then have first dibs at acquiring up to three Tentarix subsidiaries formed around the programs to be developed at $80 million apiece.

The deal will help Tentarix validate its science and get medicines to patients faster, according to CEO Paul Grayson.

The biotech emerged with a team of industry vets at the helm and $50 million in October 2021. Since launch, the company has been mostly quiet, besides forming a scientific advisory board and bulking up leadership in May 2022.