Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) acquired Sweden’s Cormorant Pharmaceuticals, a biotech specializing in drugs for rare diseases, on July 5 in a deal that could be worth up to $500 million.
The agreement gives BMS total ownership of Cormorant’s antibody program and its lead candidate HuMax-IL8, which is a Phase1/2 monoclonal antibody that attacks the interleukin-8 (IL-8) receptor.
IL-8 is a protein that is found in many solid tumors where it suppresses the immune system while strengthening the ability of these tumors to metastasize and grow.
Cormorant’s drug “offers the potential to enhance immune response and increase the efficacy of existing cancer medicines through combination therapy,” according to BMS’s announcement.
Opdivo, BMS’s prominent check-point inhibitor, could benefit from a combination with HuMax-IL8, but neither company specified if this would happen in a future trial, reported FierceBiotech.
This acquisition marks another big spend by BMS. The company bought Padlock Therapeutics in April for an estimated $600 million so it could expand its research into developing drugs for rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune illnesses.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery