Bristol-Myers Squibb to sell its HIV R&D portfolio to ViiV Healthcare

Will divest its clinical assets as well as discovery and pre-clinical programmes

Bristol-Myers Squibb has entered into two agreements with ViiV Healthcare, GSK's global HIV company, to sell its pipeline of investigational HIV medicines consisting of a number of programmes at different stages of discovery, preclinical and clinical development.

Under these agreements, ViiV will pay Bristol-Myers Squibb upfront payments totalling US$350m with potential development and regulatory milestone payments of up to $518m for the clinical assets and up to $587m for the discovery and pre-clinical programmes. Once products are approved and commercialised, ViiV Healthcare will pay tiered royalties.

Additionally, ViiV Healthcare will pay sales-based milestone payments of up to $750m for each of the clinical assets and up to $700m for each of the discovery and pre-clinical programmes.

Completion is expected during the first half of this year, subject to customary closing conditions.

The deals are consistent with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s strategy, including the decision to discontinue its discovery efforts in virology announced in June.

These acquisitions strengthen our leadership and innovation in HIV

'Bristol-Myers Squibb has been committed to the HIV community for almost three decades, contributing significantly to the science and to the transformation in the treatment of this disease,' said Francis Cuss, Chief Scientific Officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. 'Given the remaining unmet medical needs in HIV, Bristol-Myers Squibb continued its discovery of novel treatment approaches and the agreements with ViiV Healthcare now put the development of these potentially first-in-class compounds into the hands of a global specialist company exclusively dedicated to finding new medicines for people living with HIV.'

The Bristol-Myers Squibb clinical stage HIV pipeline includes an attachment inhibitor (BMS-663068), currently being investigated in Phase III as a therapeutic option for heavily treatment-experienced patients, and a maturation inhibitor (BMS-955176), currently being investigated in Phase IIb development for treatment-naïve and treatment-experienced patients. Both investigational medicines have novel modes of action and if approved would be first to market in their respective classes. The pipeline also includes active preclinical and discovery stage programmes.

David Redfern, Chief Strategy Officer at GSK and Chairman of ViiV Healthcare, said: 'These acquisitions strengthen our leadership and innovation in HIV, one of our core areas of scientific research at GSK. The addition of two potential first-in-class late-stage treatments and several promising early clinical development programmes strengthens ViiV Healthcare’s pipeline and provides us with further new opportunities for growth.'

ViiV Healthcare will manage and resource the acquired development programmes and Bristol-Myers Squibb will continue to provide, at ViiV Healthcare’s expense, certain research and development support during a transitional period. Approximately 20 Bristol-Myers Squibb employees are being offered the opportunity to transfer to ViiV Healthcare.

The agreements with ViiV Healthcare will not have an impact on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s marketed HIV medicines, including Reyataz, Evotaz, Sustiva and Atripla. Bristol-Myers Squibb remains committed to the commercialisation of these products, the firm said.

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