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Bristol-Myers Squibb acquires Cormorant Pharmaceuticals
5 July 2016 • Author: Victoria White, Digital Content Producer
Bristol-Myers Squibb has acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Cormorant Pharmaceuticals.
Cormorant Pharmaceuticals is a private, Sweden-based pharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapies for cancer and rare diseases. The acquisition gives Bristol-Myers Squibb full rights to Cormorant’s HuMax-IL8 antibody programme and the lead candidate HuMax-IL8, a Phase I/II monoclonal antibody targeted against interleukin-8 (IL-8) that represents a potentially complementary immuno-oncology mechanism of action to T-cell directed antibodies and co-stimulatory molecules.
IL-8 is a protein expressed by many solid tumours within the tumour microenvironment that suppresses the immune system and increases the ability of tumours to metastasize. By targeting IL-8, HuMax-IL8 offers the potential to enhance immune response and increase the efficacy of existing cancer medicines through combination therapy.
Accelerating the next wave of immunotherapies
Commenting on acquiring the rights to HuMax-IL8, Francis Cuss, MB BChir, FRCP, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, said:“We believe combination therapy will be foundational to delivering the potential for long-term survival for patients, and the opportunity to develop the HuMax-IL8 antibody programme together with our broad Immuno-Oncology pipeline enables us to accelerate the next wave of potentially transformational immunotherapies.”
Maarten de Château, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer, Cormorant Pharmaceuticals, added: “Bristol-Myers Squibb is the ideal company to maximise the potential of both Cormorant and the HuMax-IL8 programme, and bring hope to more patients. Bristol-Myers Squibb is the leader in the Immuno-Oncology field, with deep clinical development and regulatory expertise, and an established commercial infrastructure to deliver important new therapies to patients quickly. Bristol-Myers Squibb’s rich pipeline of clinical candidates and approved products provides even more opportunity for potential therapeutic synergy when coupled with HuMax-IL8.”
The transaction includes upfront and near term contingent milestone payments of up to US $95 million and additional contingent consideration of up to US $425 million upon the achievement by Bristol-Myers Squibb of certain development and regulatory milestones.
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