Bristol Myers Squibb has filled the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) shaped hole in its pipeline by following the increasingly well-trodden path to China, handing SystImmune $800 million upfront for a phase 2 solid tumor candidate as part of a deal worth up to $8.4 billion.
Until now, BMS has been notably absent from the ADC dealmaking frenzy, staying on the sidelines while rivals for the cancer drug market such as AstraZeneca, Gilead and Merck & Co. hoovered up assets. BMS outlined work on ADC degraders at its R&D day in September, explaining how using an antibody to direct a CELMoD to its target could improve efficacy and tolerability but has mostly stayed out of the main fray.
That changed after the market closed Monday when the Big Pharma unveiled a deal for the ex-China rights to the EGFRxHER3 bispecific BL-B01D1. BMS is betting big on the candidate, paying $800 million upfront and committing up to $500 million in near-term milestones to land the asset.