Bristol-Myers Squibb and the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) announced they have entered into a worldwide research collaboration to develop novel small molecule anti-fibrotic therapies, and an exclusive license agreement that allows Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop, manufacture and commercialize Calibr’s preclinical compounds resulting from the collaboration.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb’s collaboration with Calibr further strengthens our Specialty portfolio and advances the company’s fibrotic diseases pipeline with the addition of this promising program,” said Carl Decicco, Ph.D., Head of Discovery, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Calibr’s innovative discovery program in fibrosis represents an opportunity to develop new treatment approaches for patients.”
“Progressing our small molecule anti-fibrotic program toward the clinic represents a critical step in our mission to deliver therapies for unmet medical needs to patients,” said Peter G. Schultz, Ph.D., Institute Director and Founder of Calibr. “We are delighted to accelerate these efforts by partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb.”
Identifying novel medicines to halt or slow the progression of fibrotic disease and improve upon the current standard of care is a key part of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s R&D strategy. Calibr, an independent, not-for-profit organization established to accelerate the translation of basic biomedical discoveries into innovative new medicines, brings to the collaboration substantial expertise in identifying and optimizing small molecules with anti-fibrotic activity through its high-throughput screening, target identification, and preclinical drug discovery infrastructure.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to addressing the unmet need in fibrosis, a strategic area of focus for the company, by identifying novel medicines to halt or slow the progression of fibrotic disease. Among the assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb’s fibrosis portfolio are BMS-986020, a lysophosphatidic acid 1 (LPA1) receptor antagonist in Phase 2 development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and a CCR2/5 dual antagonist in Phase 2 development for diabetic kidney disease. In November, 2014, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Galecto Biotech AB announced, together with the Galecto shareholders, an agreement that provides Bristol-Myers Squibb the exclusive option to acquire Galecto Biotech AB and gain worldwide rights to its lead asset TD139, a novel inhaled inhibitor of galectin-3 in Phase 1 development for the treatment of IPF and other pulmonary fibrotic conditions.
Bristol-Myers Squibb and Calibr anticipate that the transaction will close during the first quarter of 2015. Closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.