Bristol-Myers Squibb Announce Oncology Research Collaborations with CytomX and IncyteBristol-Myers Squibb (B-MS) yesterday announced a worldwide research partnership and license agreement with CytomX.

The collaboration plans to discover, develop and commercialise novel therapies against multiple immuno-oncology targets using CytomX’s proprietary Probody Platform.

Probodies are monoclonal antibodies selectively activated within the cancer microenvironment, to focus the activity of therapeutic antibodies to tumours and helping spare healthy tissue.

Bristol-Myers Squibb have agreed to pay an upfront fee of $50 million, and provide research funding and future milestones and royalty payments, in return for exclusive global rights to develop and commercialise probodies for up to four oncology targets, including CTLA-4, a clinically validated immune inhibitory checkpoint receptor.

As per the terms of the agreement, CytomX is eligible to receive preclinical payments and up to $298 million in future development, regulatory and sales milestone payments for each collaboration target.  These payments are in addition to tiered mid-single-digit increasing to low-double-digit royalty payments dependent on the net sales of each product which is commercialised by B-MS.

Incyte Partnership

Bristol-Myers Squibb has also announced another clinical trials partnership with Incyte.  The collaboration will assess Bristol-Myers Squibb’s cancer immunotherapy candidate, nivolumab, combined with Incyte’s INCB24360.

The two organisations plan to look at the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of a combination B-MS’ investigational PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, and Incyte’s oral indoleamine dioxygenase-1 (IDO1) inhibitor.

Both drugs target distinct regulatory components of the immune system, helping them to identify, attack and destroy cancer cells.  Preclinical evidence has suggested that combining the two drugs could lead to an enhanced anti-tumour immune response compared to either drugs by themselves.

The Phase I/II clinical study, which will be co-funded by both companies and carried out by Incyte, will examine the combo across a number of solid tumours, possibly including melanoma, non-small cell lung, ovarian, and colorectal cancer.

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