After plenty of due diligence, GSK buys one biotech pup in the ‘$500M’ Avalon litter for its pipeline

About 6 years ago GlaxoSmithKline lined up an ambitious discovery deal with Jay Lichter at Avalon Ventures in San Diego that was widely heralded as a $500 million alliance — with the pharma giant on the hook for the lion’s share.

GlaxoSmithKline agreed to sink about $7 million in cash and kind into each of Lichter’s translational ventures, as Lichter told me at the time, which he would sink another $3 million of his own venture money into. His research team would do the heavy lifting, with GSK directly involved for proper due diligence. And GSK would pick and choose among the lot for the prize biotechs in the litter, buying them out for $9 million to $12 million upfront each with around $40 million in milestones tied in.

Fast forward to the present.

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