Watertown biotech Lyndra teams up with Gilead in $15m deal to treat HIV

Lyndra Therapeutics, the Watertown biotech startup that wants to develop long-acting medicines to replace daily pills, has signed a $15 million deal with Gilead Sciences to help the giant California biotech develop HIV drugs that would be taken weekly.

Gilead, the leading maker of HIV medications — and a frequent target of criticism for its high prices — had already contributed to a recent $60.9 million fund-raising round for Lyndra. Other investors included the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lyndra was set to announce on Tuesday that Gilead, based in Foster City, Calif., will pay it $15 million upfront to develop an HIV pill that could be taken once a week in the hopes of helping patients stick to their medication regimens.

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