Gilead pays $43M to license Xilio’s IL-12 program that could turn ‘cold’ tumors ‘hot’

Xilio Therapeutics had a bevy of announcements on Thursday — it entered a licensing deal for its Phase 1 IL-12 program with Gilead, took an investment from private investors, shuffled its pipeline and is laying off 15 employees.

Gilead is placing a $43.5 million bet on Xilio’s engineered interleukin-12, a cytokine that regulates the immune system and could be used to treat cancers. Gilead’s decision to buy into an IL-12 program comes after other Big Pharma companies like AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb scrapped their IL-12 candidates.

The drugmaker’s upfront payment for XTX301 includes $30 million in cash and a $13.5 million stock investment. All in all, Xilio could receive up to $604 million from the licensing deal, as well as royalties “ranging from high single digits to mid-teens.”

Xilio’s stock $XLO jumped 170%…
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