Bristol-Myers Squibb makes big pharma deals

pharmafile | September 1, 2015 | News story | Manufacturing and Production BMS, Bristol-Myers Squibb, PRM-151, Promedior, QIMR, fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, immuno-oncology, myelofibrosis 

Bristol-Myers Squibb is flexing its muscles in respiratory disease, by signing a deal to acquire the exclusive right to acquire Promedior, a clinical stage immunotherapy company, and gain worldwide rights to its respiratory drug.

The pharma giant has also followed the industry trend by signing an agreement with a medical research group, to investigate a target for a possible new immuno-oncology drug.

The drug, called PRM-151, is a recombinant form of human pentraxin-2 protein, which is already in Phase II development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and myelofibrosis (MF). It has been granted fast track designation in the US and orphan designation in the US and Europe for MF, and orphan designation in the US and Europe for the treatment of IPF.

BMS will pay $150 million upfront in cash, and up to $1.25 billion depending on whether BMS exercises its full rights under the deal.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to invest in building a diverse specialty portfolio, focusing on innovative approaches that can transform the treatment landscape for patients with serious diseases,” says Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “PRM-151 will complement our growing early-stage fibrosis portfolio, and we are excited by its potential to address multiple fibrotic diseases.”

“We are pleased that Bristol-Myers Squibb has recognised the value of Promedior’s clinically validated approach to directly address the underlying pathology of diseases involving fibrosis,” says Suzanne Bruhn, who is president and chief executive of Promedior. “With the strong strategic fit between our companies, we intend to continue to move PRM-151 forward rapidly as a new treatment option to address the unmet needs of patients with myelofibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and other fibrotic diseases.”

Meanwhile BMS has also agreed a research collaboration and license agreement with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, a translational centre based in Brisbane, Australia, to discover novel therapeutic antibodies against an undisclosed immuno-oncology target.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to invest in strategic partnerships that accelerate the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies through innovative science and technologies,” says Carl Decicco, head of discovery and R&D at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are excited to work with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, a partner that brings significant experience and expertise in cancer research.”

Professor Frank Gannon, QIMR Berghofer director and chief executive says: “QIMR Berghofer is committed to translational research, so it is gratifying when high quality research at the Institute results in a strategic collaboration.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb is the ideal partner to progress these assets to the clinic, with their world-leading expertise in immuno-oncology and a proven track record developing multiple cancer therapies on the market. We look forward to a fruitful, long-term collaboration, delivering new therapies for cancer patients.”

Lilian Anekwe

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