Bristol-Myers Squibb may keep losing to Keytruda on key franchise initiatives, but at least now it can share in Merck’s good fortunes. Bristol-Myers and Ono have agreed to set aside their patent dispute over the PD-1 checkpoint drug in exchange for $625 million in cash and a 6.5% royalty on sales for the next six years.
Then, after 2023, the two companies will take a 2.5% cut of the action for the following three years. Bristol-Myers gets 75% of the action and Ono takes home 25%.
This is a silver lining on an otherwise dark cloud for Bristol-Myers, which has experienced a series of painful setbacks on the checkpoint front after a number of analysts tapped it as the dominant player in the field. Just last night Bristol-Myers issued a late release saying that it was abandoning any plans for an accelerated approval of a combination of Opdivo and Yervoy for lung cancer, conceding the early lead for frontline use to Merck and Keytruda, including their plans to gain an approval for a combo with chemotherapy.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb and Ono’s agreement with Merck protects our scientific discoveries and validates the strong intellectual property rights we secured as the early innovators in the science of PD-1, a key mechanism in Immuno-Oncology that has proven to have transformational impact in cancer care,” says Bristol-Myers CEO Giovanni Caforio. “Today’s agreement is also a good decision for patients as it supports the continuation of ongoing research and maintains access to anti-PD-1 therapies for cancer patients around the world.”
The best place to read Endpoints News? In your inbox.
Comprehensive daily news report for those who discover, develop, and market drugs. Join 48,200+ biopharma pros who read Endpoints News by email every day.Free Subscription