Bill Haney, Dragonfly CEO (Getty Images)

Bris­tol My­ers bets $475M cash on a block­buster shot at break­ing the mold in im­muno-on­col­o­gy — with a po­ten­tial IL-12 game-chang­er

In the on­col­o­gy R&D world, IL-12 has a rep some­thing akin to ni­tro­glyc­er­ine in old Hol­ly­wood movies. It’s in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful, but any false move and … ka­boom.

You’re dead.

That makes it the per­fect kind of tar­get for drug hunters who like a big chal­lenge, par­tic­u­lar­ly when you’re us­ing it to or­ches­trate an im­mune re­sponse in a tu­mor — the clas­sic Holy Grail in these post-PD-(L)1 ap­proval days as in­ves­ti­ga­tors try to stack im­muno-on­col­o­gy strate­gies. And no­body knows that bet­ter than Bris­tol My­ers Squibb, which has two of the orig­i­nal check­point stars in the port­fo­lio.

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