Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and IFM Therapeutics signed a definitive agreement under which Bristol-Myers Squibb will acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of IFM Therapeutics, a venture-backed biotech company focused on developing therapies that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system to treat cancer, autoimmunity and inflammatory disorders.
The acquisition will give Bristol-Myers Squibb full rights to IFM’s preclinical STING (stimulator of interferon genes) and NLRP3 agonist programs focused on enhancing the innate immune response for treating cancer, and is an example of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s continued focus on leveraging external innovation to expand and develop its portfolio of transformative medicines. IFM’s STING agonist program includes a lead asset that accelerates the company’s efforts against this target, while the NLRP3 agonist program includes a potential first-in-class pipeline candidate.
“Targeting innate immunity pathways represents a potentially differentiated approach in immuno-oncology designed to initiate and augment immune responses that may help the body’s natural defenses better recognize and attack tumors,” said Thomas Lynch, Jr., M.D., executive vice president, chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The addition of STING and NLRP3 agonist programs broadens our ability to investigate additional pathways across the immune system and complements our immuno-oncology portfolio. We look forward to advancing the development of these important programs initiated by Gary Glick, his leadership team and leading academic and industry experts across immunology and oncology.”
“A comprehensive body of preclinical data support the continued research of IFM’s NLRP3 and STING agonists with a goal of uncovering their potential benefit to patients, particularly those not served by currently available cancer immunotherapeutics. Based on its deep expertise and leadership positions in immunology, oncology, and immuno-oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb is uniquely positioned to accelerate these programs and maximize their potential,” said Gary D. Glick, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of IFM Therapeutics.