GlaxoSmithKline snaps up Tesaro

GlaxoSmithKline acquires Tesaro for approximately $5.1 billion (£4.0 billion), at $75 per share

Mel J. Yeates
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Brentford, UK and Waltham, Mass.—GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Tesaro have entered into a definitive agreement, pursuant to which GSK will acquire Tesaro, an oncology-focused company based in Waltham, Massachusetts, for an aggregate cash consideration of approximately $5.1 billion (£4.0 billion). The proposed transaction will, according to GSK, significantly strengthen GSK’s pharmaceutical business, and accelerate the build of GSK’s pipeline and commercial capability in oncology.
Under the terms of the merger agreement between GSK and Tesaro, an indirect subsidiary of GSK will commence a tender offer within the next 10 business days to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Tesaro common stock for a price of $75 per share in cash upon completion of the offer. The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and required regulatory approvals, including clearance by the US Federal Trade Commission.
Emma Walmsley, Chief Executive Officer of GSK said, “The acquisition of Tesaro will strengthen our pharmaceuticals business by accelerating the build of our oncology pipeline and commercial footprint, along with providing access to new scientific capabilities. We look forward to working with Tesaro’s talented team to bring valuable new medicines to patients.”
Tesaro has a major marketed product, Zejula (niraparib), an oral poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor currently approved for use in ovarian cancer. Zejula is approved in the US and Europe as a treatment for adult patients with recurrent ovarian cancer who are responding to platinum-based chemotherapy, regardless of BRCA mutation or biomarker status.
Clinical trials are also underway to assess the use of Zejula in “all-comers” patient populations, as a monotherapy and in combinations, for the significantly larger opportunity of first line maintenance treatment of ovarian cancer. These ongoing trials are evaluating the potential benefit of Zejula in patients who carry gBRCA mutations, as well as the larger population of patients without gBRCA mutations. Results from the first of these studies, PRIMA, are expected to be available in the second half of 2019.
“Our strong belief is that PARP inhibitors are important medicines that have been under appreciated in terms of the impact they can have on cancer patients. We are optimistic that Zejula will demonstrate benefit in patients with ovarian cancer beyond those who are BRCA-positive as front-line treatment,” noted Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D, GSK. “We are also very excited that through this transaction, we will have the opportunity to work with an outstanding Boston-based oncology group with deep clinical development expertise and together we will explore Zejula’s efficacy beyond ovarian cancer into multiple tumor types to help many more patients.”
GSK believes PARP inhibitors offer significant opportunities for use in the treatment of multiple cancer types. In addition to ovarian cancer, Zejula is currently being investigated for use as a possible treatment in lung, breast and prostate cancer, both as a monotherapy and in combination with other medicines, including with Tesaro’s anti-PD-1 antibody (dostarlimab, formerly known as TSR-042).
“This partnership marks an evolution in the way we live out the Tesaro mission and will allow us to more rapidly deliver on our commitment to patients,” added Mary Lynne Hedley, President and Chief Operating Officer, Tesaro. “I am excited to be partnering with our new colleagues at GSK as together we advance innovative scientific and drug development strategies that ultimately enable us to provide more time for more patients.”

Mel J. Yeates

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