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Bristol-Myers buys rights to acquire fibrosis drug developer

September 1, 2015
Life sciences

Drugmaker Bristol-Myers Squibb said it bought rights to a mid-stage fibrosis drug and its privately held developer for up to $1.25 billion, boosting its pipeline for drugs that treat tissue scarring.

The deal gives Bristol-Myers access to Promedior Inc’s lead experimental drug, PRM-151, which is being tested to treat two types of fibrosis.

PRM-151 is undergoing trials as a treatment for the lung condition, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and a form of blood disorder called myelofibrosis.

Myelofibrosis, a condition that affects the bone marrow, is classified as a rare disease by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat myelofibrosis is Incyte Corp’s Jakafi, which raked in about $258 million in sales for the six months ended June 30.

Bristol-Myers has four experimental fibrosis drugs in its pipeline, two of them in mid-stage and two in early studies.

Promedior’s mid-stage studies of its fibrosis drug are expected to begin in the next few weeks, Bristol-Myers said on Monday.

Lexington, Massachusetts-based Promedior is backed by healthcare investors including British drugmaker Shire Plc.

Bristol-Myers said rights to buy Promedior could be exercised after the completion of either of the studies.

The deal includes an upfront cash payment of $150 million for the right to acquire Promedior.

Bristol-Myers’ shares were little changed at $60.95 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Vidya L Nathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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