Bristol-Myers Squibb, Five Prime enter immuno-oncology deal potentially worth over $1.7 billion

Bristol-Myers Squibb entered a licensing deal with Five Prime Therapeutics potentially worth more than $1.7 billion to develop and commercialise the latter's colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) antibody programme, including FPA008, the companies reported Thursday. "CSF1R inhibition...represents a potentially important complementary immuno-oncology mechanism of action to the T-cell directed antibodies and co-stimulatory molecules in our pipeline," commented Francis Cuss, chief scientific officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Under the deal, Bristol-Myers Squibb will make an upfront payment of $350 million to Five Prime, with the latter eligible to receive up to $1.05 billion in milestone payments per anti-CSF1R product for oncology indications and up to $340 million in payments per product for non-oncology indications. Five Prime also stands to receive double-digit royalties, which could be enhanced in the US in the event that the company exercises a co-promotion option.

FPA008 has been shown in preclinical models to block the activation and survival of monocytes and macrophages, with the compound currently in Phase I trials in several immunology and oncology indications. As part of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will be responsible for development and manufacturing of FPA008 for all indications, with Five Prime having an option to conduct its own studies to support approval of FPA008 in pigmented villonodular synovitis, as well as in combination with its own pipeline assets in immuno-oncology.

The companies added that Five Prime will continue to conduct the current Phase Ia/Ib trial evaluating the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb's PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor Opdivo (nivolumab) and FPA008 in six tumour settings, which was announced as part of the companies’ initial clinical collaboration in November last year. Bristol-Myers Squibb will be responsible for global marketing, and Five Prime will retain rights to a US co-promotion option.

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