Global biopharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has secured the exclusive rights to acquire US-based biotechnology firm Promedior and its fibrosis experimental drug PRM-151 for $1.25bn.
PRM-151 is a recombinant form of human pentraxin-2 protein currently in Phase II development for treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and myelofibrosis (MF).
It was granted fast-track designation in the US and orphan designation in the US and Europe to treat MF. It was also granted orphan designation in the US and Europe to treat IPF.
The deal includes an upfront cash payment for the right to acquire Promedior, an exercise fee payable if BMS elects to exercise its right to acquire the company, and subsequent clinical and regulatory milestone payments.
Bristol-Myers Squibb executive vice-president and chief scientific officer Francis Cuss said: "Bristol-Myers Squibb continues to invest in building a diverse specialty portfolio, focusing on innovative approaches that can transform the treatment landscape for patients with serious diseases.
"PRM-151 will complement our growing early-stage fibrosis portfolio, and we are excited by its potential to address multiple fibrotic diseases."
As part of the deal, BMS will pay $150m in cash up front for the right to acquire Promedior and the company can exercise its right after Promedior completes either of two phase-two trials of PRM-151.
In several preclinical models, PRM-151 has been shown to regulate monocytes and macrophages at areas of tissue damage to avoid and reverse fibrosis, including IPF, acute and chronic nephropathy, liver fibrosis, and age-related macular degeneration.
Promedior president and CEO Suzanne Bruhn said: "With the strong strategic fit between our companies, we intend to continue to move PRM-151 forward rapidly as a new treatment option to address the unmet needs of patients with myelofibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and other fibrotic diseases."
The companies have agreed on a development plan that will be executed by Promedior and the Phase II trials in MF and IPF are expected to be initiated in the coming weeks.
Image: A research campus operated by Bristol-Myers Squibb in Princeton, New Jersey. Photo: courtesy of Coolcaesar at the English language Wikipedia.