A week after disclosing layoffs, BridgeBio nets a $90M upfront cancer R&D pact with Bristol Myers
BridgeBio has located the bridge to greener pastures, specifically the lavish purple of Bristol Myers Squibb.
The two are collaborating in a deal giving the reorganized biotech an upfront payment of $90 million, a capital infusion that comes a week after the Palo Alto, CA biotech disclosed $23 to $25 million in restructuring-related costs. That move also included the out-licensing of six programs, a round of layoffs, consolidation of facilities and other activities in a major re-route.
A deal with BMS might get BridgeBio back on track after a major Phase III setback last year for acoramidis, a drug meant to slow the progression of the rare disease TTR amyloidosis. The duo will work together on BBP-398, an SHP2 inhibitor, for various oncology programs. The inhibitor is thought to contribute to various cancers, be a source of resistance to targeted therapies and play a role in suppressing immunity to tumors.
The $90 million is just a small chunk of the overall $905 million that BridgeBio can pull in from the partnership, should all milestones play out, and more in low- to mid-teens tiered royalties if the drug makes it to market. The two linked arms last summer on the investigational cancer treatment, with a non-exclusive, co-funded clinical collaboration to pair up BBP-398 with BMS’ Opdivo in patients with advanced solid tumors with KRAS mutations.
BridgeBio will continue leading those ongoing Phase I monotherapy and combo treatment studies. Following those trials, BMS will take over financing for all other development and commercial work, the companies said Thursday. If BridgeBio wants higher royalties, though, it could opt in to fund part of the development costs once registrational studies kick into gear.
“We have seen the potential role SHP2 inhibition could play in unlocking possible combination therapies to treat patients suffering from a range of cancers. We are hopeful this collaboration with BridgeBio will help us maximize the possibilities SHP2 inhibition with BBP-398 will hold for patients,” said Rupert Vessey, BMS EVP of research and early development, in a press release.
The drug was founded through a collaboration with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. LianBio and BridgeBio have teamed up on the drug, as well, for the treatment’s development and commercialization in mainland China and other regions of Asia. Those studies revolve around non-small cell lung cancer and colorectal and pancreatic cancer. The drug is also part of a combo test with Amgen’s Lumakras for advanced solid tumors with KRASG12C mutations.
In addition to the layoffs and facility downsizing announced last week during earnings, BridgeBio said it wants to out-license six programs: two clinical-stage drugs, two preclinical AAV gene therapies and two other pre-human trial assets.