GlaxoSmithKline to acquire Genelabs Technologies to increase focus on novel small molecule therapies

GlaxoSmithKlineGlaxoSmithKline [LSE/NYSE: GSK] and Genelabs Technologies, Inc. [NASDAQ: GNLB] have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which GSK will acquire Genelabs for approximately $57 million (£35 million) through a tender offer of $1.30 per share in cash. This strategic acquisition will strengthen GSK’s effort to develop and deliver novel therapies against the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Under the terms of the agreement, a subsidiary of GSK will commence a tender offer to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Genelabs common stock. The board of directors of Genelabs has unanimously recommended that shareholders tender their shares in the offer.

"Genelabs has demonstrated a strong track record in HCV drug discovery and identified numerous novel classes of inhibitors that target unprecedented mechanisms in the virus's life cycle," stated Zhi Hong, SVP of the Infectious Diseases Centre for Excellence in Drug Discovery (ID CEDD) at GSK. "This arrangement, combined with our other collaborations, will give GSK a broad HCV drug discovery platform addressing novel targets and innovative therapeutic approaches."

Genelabs will become part of GSK's Drug Discovery organisation and its HCV programmes will be consolidated into the broad therapeutic approaches already underway internally and through external collaborations. This acquisition continues GSK’s strategy of pursuing the best science, internally or externally, to bring new medicines to patients and value to the GSK pipeline.

Fred Driscoll, President & CEO of Genelabs said, "This transaction provides our shareholders with certain value at a substantial premium to our stock price. Through the efforts of our experienced scientific staff and other employees, we have generated highly differentiated compounds with the potential to address unmet medical needs of people with the HCV infection. GSK's world-class research and development organisation will allow us to accelerate our strategic vision of providing novel treatments that deliver tremendous value for patients."

There is a high unmet need for new drugs to treat HCV infection. The current gold standard therapy comprises pegylated-alpha interferon (IFN) plus ribavirin (RBV). The efficacy rate of this combination is relatively low (approximately 50%) and both drugs are associated with significant side effects that often lead to treatment discontinuation. Several new antiviral drugs targeting multiple virus and host targets are currently in development. Rapidly emerging drug resistance suggest that combination therapies with multiple classes of drugs will be required to achieve sustained virological response.

The tender offer is subject to customary conditions and is expected to close in December 2008.

About GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.

About the ID CEDD
The ID CEDD is a global research unit within GSK Drug Discovery dedicated to discovering therapies for infectious diseases. It is designed to integrate and better coordinate the progression of infectious diseases medicines from therapeutic hypothesis to clinical proof of concept. While drawing from the broader resources of GSK's R&D organisation, the ID CEDD bridges the conventional gap between discovery and development, brings scientists and physicians together in an entrepreneurial environment and size of small biotechnology companies. The ID CEDD currently consists of three discovery units for antivirals, antibacterials and medicines against diseases of the developing world. It focuses on building an innovative pipeline through both internal efforts and external alliances with other companies and research institutions. Its Infectious Diseases Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (ID CEEDD) will focus on 'virtualising' a portion of the infectious diseases pipeline by forming multiple risk-sharing/reward-sharing alliances.

About Genelabs Technologies
Genelabs is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel compounds for infectious diseases. In addition to a late-stage drug candidate for hepatitis E partnered with GSK, the company is advancing multiple partnered and proprietary compounds designed to selectively inhibit replication of the hepatitis C virus. For more information, please visit www.genelabs.com.

Most Popular Now

Pfizer to provide U.S. government with 10 million …

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced an agreement with the U.S. government to supply 10 million treatment courses of its investigational COVID-19 oral antiviral candid...

GSK and Vir Biotechnology announce United States g…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIR) announced US government contracts totalling approximately $1 billion[1] (USD) to purchase so...

Primary endpoint met in COMET-TAIL Phase III trial…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, Inc. (Vir) (Nasdaq: VIR) announced headline data from the randomised, multi-centre, open-label COMET-TAIL Phase...

Two billion doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccin…

AstraZeneca and its partners have released for supply two billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to more than 170 countries across every continent on the planet in the l...

Merck and Ridgeback's molnupiravir, an oral COVID-…

Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics announced that the United Kingdom Medicines and Healthcare products Re...

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine named one o…

The editors of Time announced that the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been selected as one of Time's Best Inventions of 2021. The vaccine, for which Johnson & ...

New target for COVID-19 vaccines identified

Next generation vaccines for COVID-19 should aim to induce an immune response against 'replication proteins', essential for the very earliest stages of the viral cycle, c...

Repurposing a familiar drug for COVID-19

For the past year and a half, the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to engulf the globe, fueled in part by novel variants and the uneven distribution of vaccines. Every day...

Safety concerns raised for neuroblastoma candidate…

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists looking for drugs to improve survival of children with high-risk neuroblastoma found a promising candidate in CX-5461. Th...

Pfizer and BioNTech receive expanded U.S. FDA emer…

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the emergency use authorization (EUA) of a ...

'Dancing molecules' successfully repair severe spi…

Northwestern University researchers have developed a new injectable therapy that harnesses “dancing molecules” to reverse paralysis and repair tissue after severe spinal ...

A target for potential cancer drugs may, in fact, …

In recent years, much scientific effort and funding has focused on developing drugs that target an enzyme with the unwieldy name of Src homology 2-containing protein tyro...