Gilead, Hookipa advance HIV immunotherapy pact

Feb. 17, 2022

Hookipa Pharma has signed a new agreement with Gilead to continue advancing the development of a novel HIV treatment.  

The amended agreement is an updated version of an original deal between the companies made in 2018. Under the original terms, Gilead licensed exclusive rights to Hookipa’s arenaviral platform to develop treatments for HIV and hepatitis B virus. The original deal had the collaboration between the two ending after a joint research phase and leaving Gilead's rights to further development. 

The updated agreement will have Hookipa responsible for the program until the completion of a phase 1b clinical trial, at which point Gilead will step in. The HBV portion of the deal will stay the same and is expected to enter the IND-enabling stage in 2022 to assess safety in humans, according to Hookipa. 

“Gilead is helping to advance our novel arenaviral platform technology, which has the potential to complement Gilead’s overall research strategies for cures of HIV and HBV,” said Joern Aldag, CEO of Hookipa. 

At the time of the original agreement in 2018, Hookipa agreed to a one-time, $4 million pre-clinical milestone payment. Now, the company will receive a $15 million payment and a $5 million investment. According to an article fromMarketWatch, Hookipa shares rose to 50% after the announcement. 

The latest development from Hookipa and Gilead comes only days after a woman was said to be cured of HIV through a new umbilical cord transplant method, reported the New York Times. The woman was the third person to be cured of HIV. The two previous patients, both men, were cured via bone marrow transplants.