Gilead & Forty Seven: Committed to Creating Possible for People Living with Cancer

Stories@Gilead - April 07, 2020

Gilead today completed its acquisition of Forty Seven, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company. The acquisition will help Gilead strengthen its oncology research and development portfolio and adds Forty Seven’s investigational lead product candidate, magrolimab, which is being tested in a number of hematological cancers.

Forty Seven was founded by scientists at Stanford University who uncovered the fundamental role of the CD47 receptor in cancer. CD47 is a protein that can be found on many cells and is overexpressed by various types of cancerous tumors. The protein is thought to send a signal that allows cancer to escape elimination by the body’s immune system. Blocking CD47 has the potential to block that signal, activating the immune system to identify and then eliminate cancer cells.

Investigational magrolimab is being studied in myelodysplastic syndrome, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and acute myeloid leukemia. The investigational candidate has the potential to be a foundational molecule in Gilead’s immuno-oncology portfolio, as the company seeks to deliver 10 transformative medicines across its therapeutic areas in the next 10 years.

“We view oncology as a critical area for our growth and this is an important step toward our goal of improving outcomes for patients living with cancer,” says Gilead Chief Medical Officer Merdad Parsey. “Magrolimab is a great example of an investigational therapeutic with the potential to transform the treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome and other hematological diseases. We will continue to build a portfolio that has assets with similar potential to transform care for people with certain types of cancer who need additional therapeutic options.”

Gilead and Forty Seven announced the deal in early March and will now begin working together to integrate the companies. The teams will collaborate on the development of magrolimab and explore how Forty Seven’s expertise in immuno-oncology can accelerate Gilead’s work to advance new therapies to help people living with cancer.

“There are many similarities between Gilead and Forty Seven – a patient-centered approach, fast-paced and energetic environment and tendency to be inquisitive when it comes to science,” says Forty Seven President & CEO Mark McCamish. “By coming together, our teams can unify our shared pursuit of meaningful innovation in immuno-oncology to help patients defeat their cancer.”

Magrolimab is an investigational agent and has not been approved for use by any regulatory agency globally. Its safety and efficacy have not been established.

Forty Seven President & CEO Mark McCamish (left) and Gilead Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day spoke to Forty Seven employees shortly after the agreement was announced in early March.