In an acquisition that highlights the importance of cancer and inflammation, Gilead Sciences today announced the acquisition of Seattle based Calistoga Pharmaceuticals for $375M.
Calistoga’s pipeline is focused on the development of PI3 kinase inhibitors for cancer and inflammation. Sally Church on Pharma Strategy Blog has written extensively about “The potential of the PI3K pathway inhibitors in lung cancer”, and discussed Calistoga’s CAL-101 compound and its development for hematological malignancies in her report on “What’s hot at ASH in 2010”.
I encourage you to read (if you already don’t) Sally’s excellent Pharma Strategy Blog for further information on the science and mechanism of action of the PI3K pathway (way beyond my pay grade) and her view on CAL-101’s potential.
Sally will also be at the timely AACR meeting on targeting PI3K/mTOR signaling in cancer that is being held in San Francisco later this week.
What makes CAL-101 interesting to me is its potential in targeting inflammatory mediators. CAL-101 is a first in class PI3K delta specific inhibitor; the delta isoform of phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) is expressed in leukocytes involved with a variety of inflammatory, autoimmune and hematological cancers. Increasingly I think we will see companies investigating the cross-talk between inflammation and other diseases.
In addition to the upfront payment of $375M, there are potential milestone payments of $225M. The deal is set to close in the second quarter of 2011.