Bristol-Myers passed on its $475M deal to option F-star drug; Zymeworks IPO raises $59M

John Haurum

→ A little more than two years ago, Bristol-Myers agreed to ante up $50 million to get an option on F-star’s experimental cancer drug for HER-2 positive cancers. But now we learned that the biotech giant is taking a pass on that deal, abandoning a set of potential payouts that rang in at $475 million. The drug, FS102, is now wrapping a Phase I dose-ranging study. John Haurum, CEO of F-star, commented: “Our productive relationship with Bristol-Myers Squibb has generated valuable clinical data supporting the low immunogenic potential of Fcabs, as well as a favourable pharmacokinetic profile comparable to traditional antibodies. The decision by Bristol-Myers Squibb has no impact on the development of our own pipeline and our focus on development of bispecific antibodies in the area of immuno-oncology. We appreciate the challenges of developing therapeutics in the highly-competitive HER2 space, which we are factoring in to our assessment of how to best proceed with the FS102 programme.”

→ Zymeworks has priced its IPO at $13, raising $59 million for the company. That’s the low end of the range. A string of biotechs are maneuvering into the public market this month, marking a distinct uptick in IPO activity.

→ The China Food and Drug Administration has approved Bristol-Myers combo of  Daklinza (daclatasvir) and Sunvepra (asunaprevir) for hep C.

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