GSK acquires Bellus Health for $2B

April 19, 2023

GSK announced this week that it would be acquiring Canada-based biotech Bellus Health for $2 billion.

The deal will give GSK access to Bellus’ specialty medicines and respiratory pipeline, including a potential best-in-class treatment for refractory chronic cough (RCC).

The drug, camlipixant, is a P2X3 antagonist with high selectivity and is currently in phase 3 development as a first-line treatment for adults with RCC. Based on the present clinical data, camlipixant has demonstrated potential in selectively suppressing P2X3 receptors, thereby reducing cough frequency in patients with RCC. Compared to other medications that generally target the P2X2/3 receptor, camlipixant may lead to a relatively low incidence of dysgeusia, an adverse event related to taste disturbance.

The all-cash deal, contingent upon approval from shareholders and regulatory agencies, is expected to close by the end of 2023 or earlier.

Also this week, GSK presented positive results from two pivotal phase 3 trials for gepotidacin, an investigational antibiotic for uncomplicated urinary tract infections — bringing the drugmaker a step closer to having the first in a new class of oral antibiotics for the indication in over 20 years.