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Gilead Sciences to acquire Oxford University biotech spinout MiroBio for $405 million – londonbusinessblog.com

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American pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences announced plans to acquire Oxford University biotech spinout company MiroBio in an all-cash deal worth $405 million.

MiroBio is a clinical stage company focused on developing treatments to “restore immune balance” in autoimmune patients, that is, when a person’s immune system attacks their own body tissues. Led by Professor Simon Davis and Professor Richard Corall, the company emerged from Oxford University in 2019 and has raised $130 million in venture capital, including a $97 million tranche in June from a slew of backers including Oxford Science enterprise (OSE), an investment firm that has supported more than 100 Oxford University spin-outs since its founding in 2015.

The Oxbridge Factor

The University of Oxford and the nearby University of Cambridge have long been focal points for both VC and M&A activities. In 2014, Google picked up AI-focused Cambridge spinout DeepMind, which in turn acquired two AI-focused teams from Oxford later that year.

More recently, another Oxford University spinout called DeepReason.AI was picked up by Meltwater in a $7.3 million deal back in Nov.

Gilead, originally founded as Oligogen in 1987, develops antiviral drugs used in the treatment of hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, influenza and – more recently – Covid-19. The company this week increased its sales forecast expected demand for its Covid-19 drug Veklry, which was approved by the FDA earlier this year.

By taking MiroBio in-house, it will serve Gilead with MiroBio’s proprietary technology and “portfolio of immune-inhibitory receptor agonists,” according to to a statement.

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