Bristol-Myers Squibb has completed the acquisition of US-based Padlock Therapeutics in a deal valued at $600m.
In March, Bristol-Myers signed a definitive agreement to acquire Padlock.
The deal includes full rights to Padlock’s protein / peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD) inhibitor discovery programme that is focused on the development of potentially transformational treatment approaches for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases.
RA is a systemic, chronic, autoimmune disease characterised by inflammation in the lining of joints (or synovium), causing joint damage with chronic pain, stiffness and swelling.
It is more common in women than in men, who account for 75% of patients diagnosed with RA.
Bristol-Myers Squibb executive vice-president Francis Cuss said: "Targeting PAD enzymes has the potential to be one of the most innovative mechanisms for treating autoimmunity, which both strengthens and accelerates our immunoscience pipeline.
"By pursuing a treatment approach, which may address disease progression earlier, we hope to transform the lives of patients with RA and other autoimmune diseases."
PADs are enzymes that produce autoantigens, which play an active role in the development and progression of RA and other autoimmune diseases.
The inhibition of PADs helps to prevent progression of autoimmune diseases early in their evolution, which could lead to a paradigm shift in the treatment of identifiable high risk patients with pre and early-RA, by preventing disease development and resulting joint destruction.
PAD4 inhibition in combination with current standard of care therapies may increase and maintain the durable remission rates in RA patients with rapidly progressive disease.
Padlock Therapeutics CEO Michael Gilman said: "By targeting PADs, it may be possible to eliminate the antigens that drive autoimmunity with limited impact on the immune system, thereby creating breakthrough treatments."
The Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) at the European Medicines Agency recently recommended the approval of Bristol-Myers’ Opdivo in combination with Yervoy for the treatment of advanced (unresectable or metastatic) melanoma in adults.
Image: A Bristol-Myers Squibb R&D facility in the US. Photo: courtesy of Coolcaesar.