San Diego Business Journal

San Diego-based Gossamer Bio entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize compounds from Cincinnati’s Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, in a deal worth as much as $420 million.

Gossamer Bio is notably gaining Aerpio’s GB004, which pre-clinical studies suggest is potentially safer with superior efficacy than other treatments for irritable bowel disease, the companies stated in a news release.

This is an area where Gossamer Bio, which launched in January with $100 million in funding, has experience.

Gossamer’s CEO is Faheem Hasnain, the former CEO of Receptos, which Celgene bought in 2015 for $7.2 billion, which included a late-stage drug for inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis. In addition, Gossamer COO Sheila Gujrathi was Receptos’ chief medical officer.

Under the agreement, Gossamer will pay Aerpio $20 million upfront, along with potential development, regulatory and sales milestones of up to $400 million, and royalties on worldwide sales. Gossamer would shoulder GB004’s remaining development, regulatory and commercialization expenses.

GB004 underwent early-stage human testing — that is, a phase 1, single-ascending dose study. In May, Aerpio initiated another early study.