Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and drug development accelerator BioMotiv have launched biotechnology company Anteros Pharmaceuticals.

Anteros Pharmaceuticals will work to develop a class of medicines to treat fibrotic and other inflammatory conditions.

The company is backed by intellectual property (IP), originally developed at Yale University, and in-licensed by BMS, which later assigned it to Anteros.

In addition to the IP, BMS will support Anteros via data and reagents towards small molecules that target an undisclosed mechanism. Meanwhile, BioMotiv will work with Yale and carry out all research and development activities.

BMS has an option to acquire Anteros from BioMotiv after the company identifies a pre-clinical candidate.

BioMotiv CEO Satish Jindal said: “Anteros Pharmaceuticals is the first of several companies that BioMotiv and Bristol-Myers Squibb intend to form under the strategic partnership agreement.

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“Anteros will focus on refining a new class of drug candidates for inflammatory diseases, where currently there are no real answers to multiple diseases that afflict millions of patients.”

BMS and BioMotiv forged a partnership in September to form and fund companies for the development of drugs to treat diseases with an unmet medical need.

Under the deal, BMS agreed to act as a limited partner with an option to provide funding for projects of mutual interest.

BMS Research & Early Development executive vice-president Rupert Vessey said: “Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to partnering with innovative collaborators like BioMotiv, which expand our reach and capabilities in early-stage research.

“These types of partnerships also enable us to progress the transformational research being performed at leading academic institutions such as Yale and effectively translate those discoveries into new therapies for patients.”

Last November, BMS completed the acquisition of Celgene for an equity value of $74bn.