Bristol-Myers Squibb acquires iPierian Inc. for $175 million

The transaction could be worth $725 million all told

Kelsey Kaustinen
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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and privately held iPierian, Inc., which focuses on discovering and developing new therapies for tauopathies, have announced Bristol-Myers Squibb’s acquisition of iPierian.
 
Per the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb has acquired all issued and outstanding shares of iPierian capital stock and all common stock equivalents in an all-cash transaction with a purchase price of $175 million. There is also the potential for up to $550 million in additional development and regulatory milestone payments, as well as future royalties on net sales. With the acquisition of iPierian, Bristol-Myers Squibb gains fulls rights to IPN007, the company’s lead asset: a preclinical monoclonal antibody that offers a new approach to treating progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and other Tauopathies. It is hoped that the compound will be ready for Phase 1 clinical trials by early next year.
 
“As part of our evolution to a diversified specialty BioPharma company, we have identified genetically defined diseases as an area where the company has an opportunity to significantly advance the standard of care for patients with limited treatment options,” Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a press release. “The acquisition of iPierian supports our growing efforts in this area and builds on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s internal expertise and alliances focused on the Tau pathway and neurodegenerative diseases.”
 
“In innovative drug discovery related to the Tau pathway, Bristol-Myers Squibb and iPierian are uniquely matched, both strategically and scientifically,” said Dr. Peter Van Vlasselaer, executive chairman of iPierian. “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s global leadership in Tau biology and antibody development creates an ideal setting to accelerate and fully develop the clinical potential of IPN007.”
 
Tauopathies are a class of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the pathological aggregation of the Tau protein in the brain. The tau protein serves to bind cells’ internal skeleton, and is also thought to play a role in regulating brain cell activity. The issue is the protein’s tendency to form deposits known as neurofibrillary tangles, which can lead to the disruption of brain cell activity and brain disease, especially since the protein is secreted and can boost disease progression and spread. PSP is the result of a Tau dysfunction, presenting as an atypical parkinsonian disorder, and while the initial development of IPN007 would be as a treatment for PSP, it is also though to have the potential to treat other Tauopathies as well, such as frontotemporal dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
 
“iPierian’s discovery of a novel mechanism of secreted Tau biology was the basis of the IPN007 program,” said Dr. Nancy Stagliano, chief executive officer of iPierian. “The Bristol-Myers Squibb acquisition reinforces the importance of this finding and we are gratified that IPN007 is strongly positioned now to potentially offer a new therapeutic option to progressive supranuclear palsy patients.”
 
 
SOURCE: Bristol-Myers Squibb press release

Kelsey Kaustinen

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