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Gilead Sciences acquires Oxford spinout MiroBio for £334m

Image credit: Shutterstock / S-F

US biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences is acquiring Oxford-based biotech startup MiroBio in a cash deal valued at approximately $405m (£333.9m).

Spun out of the University of Oxford in 2019, MiroBio is a biotech startup creating new therapeutic agents to treat autoimmune diseases by restoring immune balance in patients.

It is a portfolio company of Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE), an early-stage venture capital firm that provides funding, support and access to industry experts to companies commercialising work from the University of Oxford.

“Oxford Science Enterprises is proud to have played a key role in the creation of MiroBio and to have supported its successful development through to its acquisition by Gilead. Combining MiroBio’s innovative technology with that of a world-leading company should allow its pipeline to truly flourish,” said Katya Smirnyagina, senior partner, life sciences, Oxford Science Enterprises.

The company was co-founded by OSE and Tim Funnell on the back of 15 years of research by the labs of Professor Simon Davis and Professor Richard Cornall.

Smirnyagina added: “This is a great example of our model in action, where OSE has worked with leading Oxford academics to set their breakthrough science on a trajectory to where it can have a positive impact – in this case, to develop much-needed new therapies for patients with debilitating autoimmune diseases.”

MiroBio will remain based in Oxford. Previous investors in the company include Samsara BioCapital, SR One, Medixci, Advent Life Sciences, OrbiMed and Monograph.

The acquisition is still “subject to customary adjustments”.

This comes off the back of OSE raising £250m to continue funding deeptech, healthcare and life science spinouts from the University of Oxford.

“MiroBio has a deep understanding of checkpoint receptor signaling and a proprietary approach to select and generate superior agonist antibodies. Combining this with Gilead’s drug development and therapeutic area expertise will allow us to fully explore the potential of checkpoint agonist antibodies for patients with autoimmune disease.,” said Eliot Charles, chairman, MiroBio.