(Alliance News) - GSK PLC on Thursday said it has completed the acquisition of Aiolos Bio Ltd, expanding its respiratory portfolio with a potential "best-in-class" asthma treatment.

GSK is a London-based pharmaceutical maker with a market cap of GBP68.37 billion.

Back in January, BP had said it agreed to buy Aiolos, a San Francisco-headquartered pharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of respiratory diseases and immune conditions.

GSK said the acquisition will include Aiolos's "potentially best-in-class" asthma treatment, AIO-001, which is ready to enter phase II clinical development. GSK said that the product would expand its respiratory biologics portfolio to reach the 40% of severe asthma patients suffering from low T2 inflammation, an overactive immune response which can contribute to a worsening of the condition.

In line with the original agreement, GSK will pay an upfront payment of USD1 billion, and up to USD400 million in success-based milestone payments.

GSK also will be responsible for milestone payments and tiered royalties owed to Jiangsu Hengrui Pharmaceuticals Co Ltd, which granted Aiolos exclusive rights for the development and commercialisation of AIO-001 outside of greater China in August. Aiolos paid Jiangsu an upfront payment of USD21.5 million, but Jiangsu could be entitled to over USD1 billion if the drug receives approval in the US, Japan, and certain European countries.

GSK Chief Scientific Officer Tony Wood said: "Given the limited treatment options for asthma patients with low T2 inflammation, we look forward to using our deep respiratory expertise to potentially offer a long-acting biologic to a broader portion of the 315 million patients living with asthma."

Shares in GSK were down 0.7% at 1,657.00 pence each in London on Thursday morning.

By Hugh Cameron, Alliance News reporter

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