SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA, and NEW YORK, April 29, 2014
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and iPierian, Inc. announced today that Bristol-Myers Squibb has acquired iPierian, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of new treatments for Tauopathies, a class of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the pathological aggregation of Tau protein in the human brain.
The acquisition gives Bristol-Myers Squibb full rights to iPierian’s lead asset IPN007, an innovative preclinical monoclonal antibody that represents a promising new approach to treat progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and other Tauopathies, and has the potential to commence Phase 1 clinical trials by early 2015. Genetically defined diseases, such as PSP, are caused by a known change in the genome. Knowledge of this genomic change is then used to design a therapeutic approach aimed precisely at that molecular defect, such as the anti-Tau antibody for PSP.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb has acquired all of iPierian’s issued and outstanding shares of capital stock and all common stock equivalents in an all cash transaction for a purchase price of $175 million, with the potential for additional development and regulatory milestone payments totaling $550 million, along with future royalties on net sales. The transaction is expected to be accounted for as an asset acquisition for Bristol-Myers Squibb resulting in a $175 million charge during the second quarter of 2014.
“As part of our evolution to a diversified specialty BioPharma company, we have identified genetically defined diseases as an area where the company has an opportunity to significantly advance the standard of care for patients with limited treatment options,” said Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “The acquisition of iPierian supports our growing efforts in this area and builds on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s internal expertise and alliances focused on the Tau pathway and neurodegenerative diseases.”
“iPierian’s discovery of a novel mechanism of secreted Tau biology was the basis of the IPN007 program,” said Dr. Nancy Stagliano, chief executive officer of iPierian. “The Bristol-Myers Squibb acquisition reinforces the importance of this finding and we are gratified that IPN007 is strongly positioned now to potentially offer a new therapeutic option to progressive supranuclear palsy patients.”
“In innovative drug discovery related to the Tau pathway, Bristol-Myers Squibb and iPierian are uniquely matched, both strategically and scientifically,” said Dr. Peter Van Vlasselaer, executive chairman of iPierian. “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s global leadership in Tau biology and antibody development creates an ideal setting to accelerate and fully develop the clinical potential of IPN007.”
Tau is a protein that binds the cell’s internal skeleton and may help regulate the activity of brain cells. Tau forms abnormal deposits called neurofibrillary tangles which can disrupt activity of brain cells and lead to disease. Additionally, Tau is secreted and may drive disease spread and progression. By identifying targets that prevent or reverse Tau dysfunction, it may be possible to identify novel therapeutic strategies to modify the course of a disease. Initial development focus for IPN007 would be on progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare brain disease with Tau dysfunction that presents as an atypical parkinsonian disorder, with the potential for future development in other Tauopathies such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) for which no disease modifying treatments exist.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information, please visit www.bms.com or follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bmsnews.
About iPierian, Inc.
iPierian, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing novel therapies for neurodegenerative disease, specifically focused on discovering monoclonal antibodies against targets of the Tau protein. The company’s lead antibody, IPN007, represents a new approach to treating neurodegenerative disease by targeting a novel form of secreted Tau protein. Based in South San Francisco, iPierian has its scientific roots in the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) for the discovery of novel targets and therapies. Funded by industry leading investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, MPM Capital, SR One, Highland Capital and Google Ventures, the company has transformed its iPSC platform into products such as IPN007 and a second company, True North Therapeutics.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that clinical trials of IPN007 will commence as described in this release, that IPN007 will advance into later-stage development, or that the company will realize the expected benefits of this acquisition. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb’s business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.