BMS to Develop Virus Therapy for Cancer

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has entered into an agreement with PsiOxus Therapeutics, an immuno-oncolytic virus company located in Oxfordshire, UK, for the exclusive worldwide rights to NG-348, a preclinical-stage, “armed” oncolytic virus, with the goal of addressing solid tumors.

Under the agreement, BMS will grant PsiOxus a $50-million upfront payment and will be solely responsible for global clinical development and commercialization activities related to NG-348. PsiOxus is also eligible to receive up to $886 million in development, regulatory, and sales-based milestones as well as royalties on net sales. BMS will also be responsible for providing PsiOxus funding to support activities related to the preclinical development of NG-348.

This agreement follows a June 2016 agreement between the two companies where BMS and PsiOxus formed an exclusive clinical collaboration to study enadenotucirev, PsiOxus’ oncolytic adenovirus therapeutic. This agreement is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.

Oncolytic virus therapy uses modified viruses, such as the adenovirus, which selectively replicate within tumor cells and not within normal tissue. Such viruses stimulate an inflammatory response in the tumor microenvironment, resulting in the accumulation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, according to PsiOxus. The NG-348 virus uses PsiOxus’ proprietary tumor-specific immuno-gene therapy platform to “arm” the virus with two additional immuno-therapeutic transgenes.

Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb

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