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Bristol Myers Squibb and GentiBio in $1.9bn deal to develop IBD therapies

The companies will work together to develop new therapies to re-establish immune tolerance and repair tissue for those with inflammatory bowel diseases

BMS

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) and GentiBio have announced a multi-year partnership to develop new regulatory T-cell (Treg) therapies to re-establish immune tolerance and repair tissue in patients living with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

BMS has made an undisclosed upfront cash payment to GentiBio, who is also eligible to receive development and sales milestone payments of up to $1.9bn and royalties. As part of the agreement, BMS will have the right to develop and advance up to three of the resulting programmes into clinical trials.

Robert Plenge, BMS senior vice president and head, immunology, Cardiovascular and Fibrosis Thematic Research Center and head, translational medicine said: “We are excited to collaborate with GentiBio as we explore creating potentially promising Tregs for patients suffering from IBD.”

BMS will use its experience in cell therapies and immunology along with GentiBio’s modular-engineered Treg platform and scalable manufacturing process to produce stable and disease-specific engineered Tregs for use against multiple targets.

Adel Nada, co-founder and chief executive officer of GentiBio, said: “Unlike existing therapies, Tregs have the unique potential to re-establish immune tolerance in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as IBD. This strategic collaboration reflects our shared commitment to creating innovative immunotherapies that are designed to be potent, durable, selective and have the potential to significantly shift the standard of care for patients with autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases.”

IBD, a term mainly used to define ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, is characterised by debilitating and life-threatening chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GI). There is currently no cure for ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, and the majority of current therapies are focused on systemic anti-inflammatory agents and broad immunosuppression, which can result in adverse effects outside the GI tract.

As a specialised subpopulation of T-cells that act to suppress immune response, Tregs have been shown to inhibit T-cell proliferation and cytokine production and are thought to play a critical role in preventing autoimmunity.

The collaboration adds to BMS’ IBD portfolio, which currently includes Zeposia (ozanimod), approved for ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis, as well as deucravacitinib for the treatment of patients with severe ulcerative colitis.

Article by
Emily Kimber

12th August 2022

From: Research, Sales

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