Bristol-Myers Squibb Snaps Up Padlock Therapeutics in Deal Up to $600 Million, Locking Up Rheumatoid Arthritis Program

Bristol-Myers Squibb Snaps Up Padlock Therapeutics in Deal Up To $600 Million, Locking Up Rheumatoid Arthritis Program
March 23, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Company announced today that it is acquiring Cambridge, Mass.-based Padlock Therapeutics. The deal includes upfront and near term contingent milestone payments up to $225 million with additional milestone payments up to $375 million.

As part of the deal, Bristol-Myers Squibb will gain rights to Padlock’s Protein/Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase (PAD) inhibitor program, which is being developed for rheumatoid arthritis, but may also have implications for systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE) and other autoimmune diseases. PADs are a group of enzyme that produce autoantigens implicated in 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,” said Michael Gilman, founder and chief executive officer of Padlock, 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.”

Recently, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced an agreement with Cambridge, Mass.-based LabCentral, a shared laboratory space for life science and biotech startups. Bristol-Myers Squibb became a LabCentral platinum sponsor, part of which allows the company to nominate up to two startups per year to locate at LabCentral’s facilities at Kendall Square.

“We are thrilled to welcome Bristol-Myers Squibb to Kendall Square and excited to have it join LabCentral’s growing roster of global-company sponsors,” said Johannes Fruehauf, co-founder and president of LabCentral, in a statement. “Clearly, the LabCentral model—providing functional units of space and creating a supportive environment for nascent companies—is meeting a resounding need in the marketplace. Our residents who are working to move early-stage science form the lab bench toward clinical trials stand to gain valuable insights from regular interactions with Bristol-Myers Squibb mentors who are veterans of the process. But we believe it’s a symbiotic relationship; this partnership will enable Bristol-Myers Squibb to benefit from proximity and better access to our entrepreneurs as well as LabCentral alumni and others working in some of the region’s most exciting life-sciences startups.”

In June of last year, the company also indicated it planned to open a new research site in Cambridge. It will be located at 100 Binney Street in Kendall Square and will open in early 2018.

The acquisition of Padlock, a private company, is geared toward improving Bristol-Myers Squibb’s immunoscience division. It will buy all outstanding capital stock.

“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,” said Francis Cuss, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s executive vice president and chief scientific officer, in a statement. “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.”

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