GSK acquires biopharmaceutical company Bellus Health

Article by Amanda Jasi

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GSK has completed the acquisition of Bellus Health, a Canada-based, late-stage biopharmaceutical company that developed a drug that could potentially be used to treat refractory chronic cough (RCC), which currently has no approved treatment in the US or EU. The deal is worth about US$2bn.

According to GSK, RCC is defined as a persistent cough lasting more than eight weeks that does not respond to treatment for an underlying condition or is otherwise unexplained. GSK says that an estimated 28m people suffer from RCC, with 10m globally and 6m in the US and EU suffering with it for more than a year. RCC can significantly impact the quality of life of suffers, as patients can additionally experience depression, urinary incontinence, pain, rib fractures, social withdrawal, and loss of sleep.

Through its acquisition of Bellus, GSK now has access to camlipixant, a drug for treating adults with RCC that is currently undergoing phase III clinical trials. Following anticipated regulatory approval and launch of the drug, GSK expects camlipixant could deliver “significant sales” beginning in 2031.

Luke Miels, chief executive officer of GSK, said: The acquisition of Bellus is highly synergistic with GSK’s expertise in respiratory medicines and is further supported by GSK’s leading R&D, manufacturing, and commercialisation capabilities. We are now focused on progressing camlipixant through phase III trials to offer a therapeutic option for RCC patients as soon as possible.”

Article by Amanda Jasi

Staff reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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