NEW YORK & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—A definitive agreement was signed today between Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Padlock Therapeutics Inc. under which Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire all of Padlock's outstanding capital stock. Per the terms of the transaction, the deal includes upfront and near-term contingent milestone payments of up to $225 million, as well as additional contingent consideration of up to $375 million, dependent upon the achievement of specified development and regulatory events by Bristol-Myers Squibb. Both companies' boards of directors have approved the transaction, as have Padlock's stockholders, and it is expected that the deal will close in the second quarter of this year.
With this acquisition, Bristol-Myers Squibb gains full rights to Padlock's Protein/Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase (PAD) inhibitor discovery program, which is focused on developing new treatment approaches for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Padlock's focus is treating destructive autoimmune diseases, and it is thought that the PAD discovery program could also have utility in the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as well as other autoimmune diseases.
PADs are a family of enzymes that produce autoantigens that play active roles in the development and progression of RA and other autoimmune diseases. Inhibiting PADs offers the potential to prevent the progression of autoimmune diseases early in their development. In high-risk patients with pre- and early RA, PAD inhibition could potentially prevent disease development and the resulting joint destruction that characterizes RA. The inhibition of PAD4 in combination with current standard-of-care therapies could increase and maintain the durable remission rates in RA patients with rapidly progressive disease.
“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,” Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb, remarked in a press release. “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.”
“By targeting PADs, it may be possible to eliminate the antigens that drive autoimmunity with limited impact on the immune system, thereby creating breakthrough treatments,” Dr. Michael Gilman, founder and CEO of Padlock Therapeutics, commented in a statement. “In Bristol-Myers Squibb, we found an excellent home for our program based on their deep commitment to science and developing transformational therapies. We are confident that Bristol-Myers Squibb can leverage the scientific foundation built by Padlock's founders, team and advisors to help patients with serious autoimmune diseases.”
In other recent news for the company, Bristol-Myers Squibb also announced that it will be presenting new clinical research data for Opdivo and Yervoy, both for Opdivo as a single agent and in combination with Yervoy, at the upcoming AACR 2016 Annual Meeting. The presentations will include Phase 2 and Phase 3 data in melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and lung cancer. The company will also be presenting at the William Blair Conference, Cancer Immunotherapy: A Long-Awaited Reality, at the end of the month.
SOURCE: Bristol-Myers Squibb press release