Bristol-Myers Squibb to acquire Padlock Therapeutics for up to US$600m

Expands immunoscience pipeline with potentially transformational approach to treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases

Bristol-Myers Squibb is to purchase Padlock Therapeutics, a privately owned, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company creating new medicines to treat autoimmune diseases.

The deal includes upfront and milestone payments of up to US$225m, as well as up to $375m in additional payments contingent upon achieving certain development and regulatory milestones.

Bristol-Myers Squibb gains full rights to Padlock’s Protein/Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase (PAD) inhibitor discovery programme aimed at developing new treatment options for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Padlock’s PAD programme may also be used to treat systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and multiple sclerosis.

PADs are enzymes that produce auto-antigens which play an active role in the development and progression of RA and other autoimmune diseases.

Targeting PAD enzymes has the potential to be one of the most innovative mechanisms for treating autoimmunity

Inhibiting PADs offers the potential to prevent progression of autoimmune diseases in their early stages. In high risk patients with pre- and early-RA, PAD inhibition could lead to a major shift in treatment by preventing disease development and resulting joint destruction. Specifically, PAD4 inhibition in combination with current therapies may increase and maintain remission rates in RA patients with rapidly progressive disease.

'Targeting PAD enzymes has the potential to be one of the most innovative mechanisms for treating autoimmunity which both strengthens and accelerates our immunoscience pipeline,' said Francis Cuss, Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. 'By pursuing a treatment approach which may address disease progression earlier, we hope to transform the lives of patients with RA and other autoimmune diseases.'

'By targeting PADs, it may be possible to eliminate the antigens that drive autoimmunity with limited impact on the immune system, thereby creating breakthrough treatments,' added Michael Gilman, founder and Chief Executive of Padlock Therapeutics.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and by the stockholders of Padlock. The firms anticipate that the transaction will close during the second quarter of this year.

Companies