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Bristol-Myers Squibb to acquire Amira Pharmaceuticals

Posted: 21 July 2011 | | No comments yet

Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire privately held Amira Pharmaceuticals, a small-molecule pharmaceutical company…

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., announced today that the companies have signed a definitive agreement under which Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire privately held Amira Pharmaceuticals, a small-molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new drugs to treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire all of Amira Pharmaceuticals’ issued and outstanding shares of capital stock and stock equivalents in an all-cash transaction for a purchase price of $325 million upfront and potential additional milestone payments totaling $150 million. Bristol-Myers Squibb will secure Amira Pharmaceuticals’ fibrosis program, including the lead asset AM152, an orally available lysophosphatidic acid 1 (LPA1) receptor antagonist which has completed Phase I clinical studies and is now poised for Phase IIa proof-of-confidence studies for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and systemic sclerosis (SSc), or scleroderma. Bristol-Myers Squibb will also obtain Amira Pharmaceuticals’ preclinical autotaxin program, which may be useful in the treatment of neuropathic pain and cancer metastases. Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to retain Amira Pharmaceuticals’ scientists who work on both of these programs and they will remain located in San Diego. “As part of the continued execution of our focused BioPharma strategy, Bristol-Myers Squibb has identified fibrotic diseases as an area of high unmet medical need that complements our research efforts in several of our therapeutic areas,” said Elliott Sigal, executive vice president, chief scientific officer and president, Research and Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals represents the latest example of our String of Pearls strategy, a highly targeted set of transactions designed to enrich our innovative pipeline with potential medicines to help patients in need.” The closing of the transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals. “We are pleased to have Bristol-Myers Squibb acquire Amira Pharmaceuticals. Our LPA and autotaxin programs are world leading and will be in excellent hands,” stated Bob Baltera, chief executive officer, Amira Pharmaceuticals. “It has been a pleasure to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb throughout this highly competitive process.” “Amira Pharmaceuticals’ scientists have been leaders in the research and development of lysophosphatidic acid receptor antagonists for fibrosis,” said Jeremy Levin, senior vice president, Strategy, Alliances and Transactions. “We compliment the professional approach of the investors and Amira Pharmaceuticals’ leadership and scientific team who, since 2005, have built a highly innovative company. We will now build on that history and commitment to innovation to discover and develop novel medicines in this important disease area.” Amira Pharmaceuticals’ exclusive financial advisor for the transaction was J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, while Cooley LLP was its legal advisor. Bristol-Myers Squibb was represented by Covington & Burling LLP.

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