Biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has partnered with drug development accelerator BioMotiv to form and fund new companies for the advancement of medicines.

The new firms are set to focus on diseases with an unmet medical need. The partnership will leverage the companies’ drug development expertise.

Under the terms of the deal, BMS will be a limited partner with an option to provide funding for projects of mutual interest.

Bristol-Myers Squibb discovery research interim head Bruce Car said: “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s distinctive BioPharma strategy leverages the reach and resources of a major pharma company paired with the entrepreneurial spirit and agility of a biotech firm.

“Partnering with an innovative accelerator like BioMotiv strengthens our ability to translate cutting edge, early stage academic discoveries into new therapies for patients with serious diseases.”

BMS will additionally have an option to acquire a newly formed company from BioMotiv, following the identification of a preclinical molecule.

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BioMotiv CEO and chief scientific officer Ted Torphy said: “This new partnership will allow us to leverage the extensive expertise of Bristol-Myers Squibb across multiple disease areas.

“Combined with BioMotiv’s unique model and focus on accelerating breakthrough discoveries from leading academic institutions, we have the opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of patients.”

BioMotiv is associated with the $380m Harrington Project for Discovery & Development initiative. The project works to speed up discoveries by research institutions into therapeutics.

The company licences and develops technologies across a variety of diseases and therapeutics.

Its portfolio firms comprise Allinaire Therapeutics, which is working on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, oncology-focused Aro Biotherapeutics, Dual Therapeutics, SapVax and TamRx.

Furthermore, Gladstone Institutes focuses on Dravet’s Syndrome research, while Koutif Therapeutics and Orca Pharmaceuticals work in inflammatory diseases and psoriasis fields, respectively.

Sujana Biotech develops anti-inflammatory therapeutics. OptiKira is engaged in various disease areas, including cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative conditions.

Meanwhile, Inclera Therapeutics helps companies advance their technology towards commercialisation.