GSK helps SpringWorks to double payday from boosted combo deal as it also reels $225M in new funding

It’s a good day to be the CFO of SpringWorks Therapeutics. The precision medicine biotech has not only secured $225 million in funding, but also banked a further $75 million equity investment as part of an expanded agreement with GSK.

First, the partnership with GSK, which builds off an existing agreement with the British big pharma. Back in June 2019, the two companies signed a clinical trial collaboration to evaluate SpringWorks’ gamma secretase inhibitor nirogacestat in combination with GSK’s anti-BCMA antibody-drug conjugate Blenrep in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Now, GSK is deepening that relationship by putting up a $75 million equity investment in SpringWorks to enable further studies of the two therapies, including the potential for continued development and commercialization of the combination of nirogacestat and Blenrep in earlier lines of treatment such as newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

GSK will continue funding most of the development costs, and has pledged up to $550 million in additional milestone payments.

“Our goal is to maximize the clinical impact of nirogacestat as a potentiator of BCMA-targeted therapies and today’s announcement advances our opportunity to serve patients with multiple myeloma across lines of therapy,” SpringWorks CEO Saqib Islam said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Hesham Abdullah, M.D., Global Head of Oncology Development at GSK, said the big pharma had been encouraged by early clinical data from the combination.

“Blenrep in combination with novel therapies, such as nirogacestat, could prove to be an impactful therapeutic option for patients with multiple myeloma, as these combination regimens may further optimize the benefit-risk profile of Blenrep, especially in earlier lines of therapy,” Abdullah said in a statement.

It wasn’t the only good news for SpringWorks, as the biotech made a separate announcement this morning that it had lined up a group of institutional investors to issue and sell over 8.6 million shares of its common stock at $26.01 apiece in a private placement transaction.

The investors included the likes of EcoR1 Capital, Boxer Capital, Invus, Deerfield Management and Perceptive Advisors, as well as another large institutional investor, but whose identity was not disclosed.

“We are very pleased by the support from this high quality group of investors as we work towards the first of our expected drug launches next year and continue to advance our diversified pipeline,” said Islam.

As well as nirogacestat—which is being trialed in combination with a range of BCMA bispecific antibodies and CAR-T therapies from big pharmas like AbbVie and Pfizer—SpringWorks also has an MEK inhibitor called mirdametinib in the clinic along with a RAF fusion and dimer inhibitor called BGB-3245.