Bristol-Myers Squibb to buy Padlock Therapeutics for up to $600 million

Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of Padlock Therapeutics under a deal potentially worth up to $600 million, the companies reported Wednesday. Bristol-Myers Squibb noted that the transaction will give it full rights to Padlock's protein/peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD) inhibitor discovery programme focused on the development of therapies for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

"Targeting PAD enzymes has the potential to be one of the most innovative mechanisms for treating autoimmunity which both strengthens and accelerates our immunoscience pipeline," remarked Francis Cuss, chief scientific officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb, adding "by pursuing a treatment approach which may address disease progression earlier, we hope to transform the lives of patients with RA and other autoimmune diseases."

Under the agreed terms, Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay Padlock upfront and near-term milestone payments of up to $225 million, as well as up to $375 million upon the achievement of certain development and regulatory events. Bristol-Myers Squibb said the transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies, as well as the shareholders of Padlock. The drugmakers expect the deal to close during the second quarter.

Bristol-Myers Squibb explained that PADs comprise a family of enzymes that produce autoantigens that actively contribute to the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The company stated that Padlock's PAD discovery programme could also have utility in the treatment of other autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.

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