GlaxoSmithKlineGSK plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) today announced that it has acquired Elsie Biotechnologies, a San Diego-based private biotechnology company dedicated to unlocking the full potential of oligonucleotide therapeutics, for up to $50 million (approximately £39 million).

Oligonucleotides have a unique ability to modulate gene expression, making them an attractive modality to address a significant proportion of therapeutic targets that are not amenable to traditional small molecules or biologics.

This acquisition allows GSK to integrate Elsie’s oligonucleotide discovery, synthesis, and delivery technologies to enhance GSK’s platform R&D capabilities. This follows a successful research collaboration with Elsie, announced in July 2023, in which GSK was able to explore and validate the technology.

Tony Wood, Chief Scientific Officer, GSK, said: "We have already made great strides in oligonucleotide drug development through our work in chronic hepatitis B and steatotic liver disease, and are thrilled to work alongside the talented team at Elsie to accelerate a next-generation oligonucleotide platform. By bringing together Elsie’s expertise and our internal capabilities, we can design and develop oligonucleotides for difficult-to-treat diseases of scale with larger patient populations."

Data generated with the Elsie platform, combined with GSK's expertise in the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, will support the development of predictive models for future oligonucleotide design.

Kevin Green, Chief Operating Officer, Elsie, said: "We are thrilled to be a part of GSK and work alongside the talented R&D team dedicated to oligonucleotide drug development. We believe our platform will make significant contributions to the field and we believe GSK is the best partner to help advance this effort."

The acquisition is aligned to GSK’s approach of uniting Science and Technology, including advancing novel platform technologies, to accelerate drug development and ultimately deliver innovative medicines to patients, better and faster. Currently GSK is advancing oligonucleotide therapeutics in chronic hepatitis B and steatotic liver disease as well as other therapeutic areas beyond liver disease.

This agreement is not subject to closing conditions and the acquisition has been completed.

About Elsie Biotechnologies

Elsie is a private biopharmaceutical company dedicated to unlocking the full potential of oligonucleotide therapeutics by integrating discovery, development, and delivery to potentially increase potency, decrease toxicity, and optimise delivery.

About GSK

GSK is a global biopharma company with a purpose to unite science, technology, and talent to get ahead of disease together.