Bristol-Myers Squibb gains right to buy Promedior and its fibrosis drug PRM-151 for up to $1.25 billion

Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into an agreement for an exclusive right to acquire the immunotherapy company Promedior and gain global rights to its lead asset PRM-151, a recombinant form of human pentraxin-2 protein in Phase II development for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and myelofibrosis (MF), the companies announced Monday. Under the deal, payments to Promedior could potentially reach $1.25 billion, which includes an upfront cash payment of $150 million for the right to acquire Promedior and subsequent clinical and regulatory milestones.

Bristol-Myers Squibb indicated that mid-stage studies of PRM-151 in the treatment of IPF and MF are expected to begin in the coming weeks. Under the agreed terms, the drugmaker can exercise its option to acquire Promedior following the completion of either Phase II study.

PRM-151 has been granted orphan drug designation by European regulators and the FDA for the treatment of both IPF and MF, while the therapy has also received fast track status by the US agency for both indications.

Bristol-Myers Squibb chief scientific officer Francis Cuss remarked "PRM-151 will complement our growing early-stage fibrosis portfolio, and we are excited by its potential to address multiple fibrotic diseases." In November 2014, the US company reached an agreement to acquire Galecto Biotech for as much as $444 million, giving the drugmaker rights to the experimental IPF therapy TD139.

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