GSK snags proteomics platform tech in $98M Cellzome buyout

Four years after it first clambered aboard Cellzome's drug discovery platform, GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) has opted to buy out the company for $98 million, snagging full rights to a pair of early-stage inflammation programs and a proteomics technology that it plans to use to screen drug candidates. In the deal GSK will cherry-pick the assets it likes, leaving room for a spinoff company to take shape with the unclaimed portion of work being carried out in labs in Cambridge, U.K. and Heidelberg, Germany.

In announcing the acquisition, in which GSK will add all the outstanding shares the pharma giant didn't already own, the R&D division had high praise for technology capable of spying drug interactions with target proteins in what it called a close proximity to a "whole biological system." 

"The acquisition of Cellzome adds significantly to our scientific capabilities and capacity to characterize drug targets and provides the opportunity to further enhance GSK's ability to bring medicines to patients in a more effective manner," said John Baldoni, senior vice president, platform and technology science, at GSK. 

GSK had partnered on two early-stage drug programs with Cellzome, but the company hasn't specified exactly what is being spun off into a new company. GSK has been an active dealmaker in recent years, licensing and buying new drug technologies as it creates new drug development units in R&D. This is the first time it's acquired a new platform technology, though, in 5 years.

- here's the press release