Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb acquires rights to Promedior Inc and its experimental drug PRM-151

01 Sep 2015


Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb said it had acquired rights to a mid-stage fibrosis drug and its privately held developer for up to $1.25 billion, adding to its portfolio of drugs that treat tissue scarring.

With the deal, Bristol-Myers gains access to immunotherapeutic products maker Promedior Inc's lead experimental drug, PRM-151, which is under testing to treat two types of fibrosis.

Promedior is a clinical stage immunotherapy company pioneering the development of targeted therapeutics to treat fibrotic diseases.

PRM-151 is a potential treatment for the lung condition, called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and a form of blood disorder called myelofibrosis.

The condition affects the bone marrow and is classified as a rare disease by the US National Institutes of Health.

The sole treatment approved by the US FDA to treat myelofibrosis is Incyte Corp's Jakafi, which notched up about $258 million in sales for the six months ended 30 June.

Of the four experimental fibrosis drugs in Bristol-Myers pipeline, two are in mid-stage and two in early studies.

Promedior's mid-stage studies of its fibrosis drug would get underway in the next few weeks, Bristol-Myers said yesterday.

Bristol-Myers said rights to buy Promedior could be exercised after the completion of either of the studies.

The agreement signed by the two companies grants Bristol-Myers Squibb an exclusive right to acquire Promedior and gain worldwide rights to its lead asset PRM-151, a recombinant form of human pentraxin-2 protein in Phase 2

development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and myelofibrosis (MF).

PRM-151 has been granted Fast Track designation in the US and Orphan designation in the US and Europe for the treatment of MF and Orphan Designation in the US and Europe for the treatment of IPF.

Total aggregate payments to Promedior under the agreement have the potential to reach $1.25 billion, which includes an upfront cash payment for the right to acquire Promedior, an exercise fee payable if Bristol-Myers Squibb

elects to exercise its right to acquire the company, and subsequent clinical and regulatory milestone payments.

''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,'' said Francis Cuss, MB BChir,

FRCP, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, 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.''

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