That $1.25B Bris­tol-My­ers IDO1 drug? In­cyte claims a for­mer staffer stole it

When Bris­tol-My­ers Squibb agreed to pay up to a jaw-drop­ping $1.25 bil­lion to ac­quire the fledg­ling biotech Flexus back in ear­ly 2015 for the sole pur­pose of gain­ing con­trol of a pre­clin­i­cal IDO1 drug, the math seemed to de­fy every known stan­dard on overnight biotech wind­falls.

The 18-month-old biotech had just lined up a $38 mil­lion round from Klein­er Perkins, Cel­gene and The Col­umn Group. In a world where a 10X pay­off af­ter a few years is con­sid­ered a home run, Bris­tol-My­ers’ $800 mil­lion up­front, with $450 mil­lion in ear­ly-stage mile­stones, for a drug that had yet to go in­to hu­mans was done on a whole new lev­el.

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