Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Forges $475 Million Pact For Rights To f-Star's Cancer Drug
Published: Oct 28, 2014
October 28, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced today that it has entered a deal with F-star Alpha Ltd. that gives it the option to acquire the company and gain rights to its lead asset, FS201. The deal, which could reach up to $457 million, will allow Squibb to maintain worldwide rights to the drug, which is a novel Phase 1 ready Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 targeted therapy in development for the treatment of breast and gastric cancer.
“This agreement is consistent with our R&D strategy to develop promising treatments that address areas of high unmet medical need, and provides the opportunity to complement our oncology portfolio with a novel targeted therapy,” said Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We look forward to working with F-star and leveraging our broad clinical expertise in oncology to uncover the full potential of FS102.”
FS102 has the potential to eliminate cancer cells through a mechanism of action in a biomarker-defined patient population. It works differently than current therapies, with the potential to overcome resistance that has developed against other HER-2 targeted drugs. FS102 works by binding to a unique site on HER2 and then inducing programmed cell death in HER2-positive tumor cells.
“We are thrilled that a company with the oncology experience and expertise of Bristol-Myers Squibb will be advancing our first clinical asset with the potential to provide a significant improvement over the current standard of care for a defined group of patients with HER2-positive cancer,” said John Haurum, chief executive officer at F-star Biotechnology Ltd. “In addition to the important improvement of cancer therapy FS102 may provide to patients, this program also provides validation of the Modular Antibody Technology platform as a powerful engine to discover and rapidly develop novel targeted biologics.”
In preclinical trials, FS102 has showed encouraging efficacy against certain HER2-positive cancers and major regression in tumors. HER2 is a validated target in breast and gastric cancers, and it plays a significant role in the development of tumors.
Under the agreement, Squibb will make payments that amount to $50 million and retain an option fee to acquire F-star if it chooses. Squibb is also now responsible to fund the development of FS102 during the option period.
F-star is a biopharmaceutical company that develops bi-specific antibody products that provide significant improvement over the current standard of care.