SpringWorks Scores GSK Partnership Expansion, $225M Raise


SpringWorks Therapeutics had a big day Wednesday, announcing the expansion of its partnership with GlaxoSmithKline to develop nirogacestat in combination with GSK's Blenrep for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and a separate $225 million financing.

Under the terms of the expanded deal, GSK will make $75 million in equity investments to SpringWorks. The larger company also promised up to $550 million more in development and commercial milestones. 

The partnership began in 2019 when GSK agreed to sponsor and conduct an adaptive Phase Ib study looking at the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of the nirogacestat-Blenrep combo in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. It expanded in 2021 to cover the initial clinical development of nirogacestat. 

Wednesday's expansion will enable the companies to assess the combo in earlier lines of treatment. GSK will remain responsible for all development costs, while SpringWorks will retain full commercial rights to nirogacestat. It will also shoulder supply and intellectual property rights expenses.

SpringWorks is $225M Richer 

Also on Wednesday, SpringWorks unveiled a securities purchase agreement with institutional investors, earning the Connecticut-based biopharma a gross of $225 million before offering expenses are deducted. The private placement transaction will see investors buy 8,625,520 company shares for $26.01 per share. 

The company plans to use these proceeds to support the expected launch of nirogacestat in the United States. Part of the investment will go to other ongoing research and development programs, the company stated. 

When the GSK and securities purchase deals close, SpringWorks expects to have over $600 million in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. This sum should be enough to keep the company afloat into 2026, SpringWorks reported. 

Nirogacestat is an oral small molecule inhibitor of the gamma secretase protein, whose function is to cleave protein complexes. In some cases, gamma secretase can kick off a signal cascade culminating in tumorigenesis. It can also lead to the release of the typically membrane-bound BCMA protein. Preventing this through the inhibitor action of nirogacestat could make B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-targeted therapies, such as Blenrep, more effective.

SpringWorks is currently evaluating nirogacestat in the Phase III DeFi trial to treat progressing desmoid tumors, a rare and aggressive malignancy of the soft tissues. Desmoid tumors aren't known to metastasize, but they are highly recurrent and, when vital organs are afflicted, could be fatal.

Data from DeFi will be presented at a late-breaking oral session at the upcoming 2022 Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO).

Overall, SpringWorks is assessing nirogacestat in seven ongoing or planned studies in collaboration with leading BCMA developers, a company spokesperson told BioSpace

"We look forward to generating clinical data with each of our collaborators," the spokesperson said. 


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