Rupert Vessey, Bristol Myers Squibb head of research and early development

Up­dat­ed: R&D tur­bu­lence at Bris­tol My­ers now in­cludes the end of a $650M al­liance and the de­par­ture of a top re­search cham­pi­on

This morn­ing biotech Drag­on­fly put out word that Bris­tol My­ers Squibb has hand­ed back all rights to its IL-12 clin­i­cal-stage drug af­ter spend­ing $650 mil­lion to ad­vance it in­to the clin­ic.

The news ar­rives amid a tur­bu­lent R&D stage for the phar­ma gi­ant, which late last week high­light­ed Ru­pert Vessey’s de­ci­sion to de­part this sum­mer as head of ear­ly-stage R&D fol­low­ing a cru­cial three-year stretch af­ter he jumped to Bris­tol My­ers in the big Cel­gene buy­out. Dur­ing that time he struck a se­ries of deals for Bris­tol My­ers, and al­so shep­herd­ed a num­ber of Cel­gene pro­grams down the pipeline, play­ing a ma­jor role for a line­up of biotechs which de­pend­ed on him to cham­pi­on their drugs.

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