GlaxoSmithKline to look for early-stage assets: CEO

FILE PHOTO: GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) CEO, Emma Walmsley, arrives for a meeting in Downing Street in central London, Britain, October 9, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline Plc will actively look to buy early-stage assets and partner with companies, the drugmaker’s chief executive officer said on Tuesday.

Britain’s biggest drugmaker is also likely to evaluate licensing deals and would continue to invest in early-stage HIV treatments, CEO Emma Walmsley said at the JP Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco.

Walmsley said the company had extensive plans for its experimental drug to treat multiple myeloma, which targets a protein called BCMA, adding that it could be launched by 2020.

On the company’s portfolio of cancer medicines, she said GlaxoSmithKline had almost doubled the size of its immuno-oncology pipeline over the past few months.

The company’s plan to acquire U.S.-based Tesaro for $5.1 billion in December is among several large healthcare deals in recent months to pump money into cancer drug development.

That was followed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co’s $74 billion deal to buy Celgene Corp and Eli Lilly & Co’s $8 billion acquisition of Loxo Oncology earlier this month.

In what was widely considered a bold move on Walmsley’s part, last month GlaxoSmithKline also said it would split into two businesses after forming a new joint venture with Pfizer’s consumer health division.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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