In the last month of 2018, Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) entered various partnerships to bolster its growth strategy. Notably, the trend seems to continue into the New Year as Gilead entered another collaboration with Yuhan Corporation. In particular, the collaboration hinges on cross-licensing and co-development of novel drugs for the treatment of advanced fibrosis.

A focus on NASH fibrosis

Notably, the firms will focus on the kind of fibrosis that is non-alcoholic. In particular, this is fibrosis as a result of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Interestingly, Gilead will take the lead in all global development of drugs. This includes clinical development as well as commercialization except within South Korea. Further, the agreement involves some monetary compensation which Gilead will extend towards Yuhan. This includes $15 million upfront payment and an additional $770 million subject to various conditions.

The partnership comes hot on the heels of another agreement entered late December between Gilead and Agenus. In particular, the partnership entails joint research, development, and commercialization of novel therapies targeting immune-oncology. Notably, the firms already have a program underway aiming to discover the therapies. Dubbed AGEN1423, the program combines research efforts by teams from the two firms.

Gilead wins a copyright case

Interestingly, the details of the deal indicate that Gilead with acquiring exclusive rights to develop and commercialize the drugs. On its part, Agenus will get financial benefits and which includes $120 million in an upfront payment. Further, Agenus is eligible to earn future fees that amount to approximately $1.7 billion. However, the firm has the option to opt in the development and commercialization of the drugs, subject to some conditions.

Meanwhile, Gilead Sciences received an affirmative nod in Japan to develop and distribute proprietary drugs for treating chronic hepatitis C. according to an official statement, the drug targets patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection but lacking cirrhosis.

Interestingly, the decision comes just a day after Gilead won a lawsuit by Merck claiming copyright infringement. Notably, the lawsuit relates to the drugs that Gilead will use to treat the HCV patients in Japan. In particular, the U.S. Supreme Court turned down the request by Merc to hear its appeal. As per the Supreme Court, Merck has a history of lying.

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