BMS Acquires Swedish Pharma Company Cormorant

Bristol-Myers Squibb has acquired all of the outstanding capital stock of Cormorant, a privately held Stockholm, Sweden-based pharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapies for cancer and rare diseases. The acquisition gives Bristol-Myers Squibb full rights to Cormorant's HuMax-IL8 antibody program and the lead candidate HuMax-IL8, a Phase I/II monoclonal antibody targeted against interleukin-8 (IL-8) that represents a potentially complementary immuno-oncology mechanism of action to T-cell directed antibodies and co-stimulatory molecules.

IL-8 is a protein expressed by many solid tumors within the tumor microenvironment that suppresses the immune system and increases the ability of tumors to metastasize. By targeting IL-8, HuMax-IL8 offers the potential to enhance immune response and increase the efficacy of existing cancer medicines through combination therapy. The rights to HuMax-IL8 were acquired by Cormorant from Genmab A/S in 2012 under an exclusive license agreement.

The transaction includes upfront and near term contingent milestone payments of up to $95 million and additional contingent consideration of up to $425 million upon the achievement by Bristol-Myers Squibb of certain development and regulatory milestones. The transaction was approved by the boards of directors of both companies and by the stockholders of Cormorant.

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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