Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has signed an agreement for the joint development and commercialisation of SystImmune’s EGFRxHER3 bispecific antibody-drug conjugate (ADC), BL-B01D1, in the US in an $8.4bn deal.

SystImmune is eligible to receive an upfront payment of $800m from BMS.

BMS will make near-term payments of $500m to SystImmune, which will also receive $7.1bn in milestone payments on meeting specific development, regulatory and sales performance goals.

BMS and SystImmune will split development expenditures and profits and losses in the US.

SystImmune will manage the ADC’s development, marketing and production in mainland China through its affiliates. The company will produce specific drug supplies for usage outside mainland China.

BMS will also develop and market the product outside mainland China.

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SystImmune will retain exclusive development and commercialisation rights in mainland China through its affiliates.

BMS is eligible for royalty payments on net product sales in the region while SystImmune will receive these payments on net sales outside the US and mainland China.

A multicentre, international Phase I clinical trial is analysing the safety and efficacy of BL-B01D1 in metastatic or unresectable non-small cell lung cancer patients.

The alliance will unite the ADC capabilities of SystImmune with the clinical development and oncology expertise of BMS to progress the development of the ADC.

The deal forms part of BMS’ strategy to bolster its oncology portfolio and boost its presence in the ADC segment.

Bristol Myers Squibb drug development executive vice-president and chief medical officer Samit Hirawat stated: “SystImmune’s BL-B01D1 adds yet another ADC to our diverse pipeline and helps strengthen our approach of matching the most appropriate therapeutic modality to areas of unmet medical need across solid tumour oncology.”

Before this development, Japan had approved BMS’ Abecma (idecabtagene vicleucel) to treat relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.