The FINANCIAL — Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and Five Prime Therapeutics, Inc. on October 15 announced that they have entered into an exclusive worldwide license and collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of Five Prime’s colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) antibody program, including FPA008 which is in Phase 1 development for immunology and oncology indications.
This agreement replaces the companies’ existing clinical collaboration agreement to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of combining Opdivo (nivolumab), Bristol-Myers Squibb’s programmed-death 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitor, with FPA008 in six tumor types, according to Bristol-Myers Squibb.
“By blocking a key mediator of immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment, CSF1R inhibition with FPA008 represents a potentially important complementary immuno-oncology mechanism of action to the T-cell directed antibodies and co-stimulatory molecules in our pipeline,” said Francis Cuss, MB BChir, FRCP, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb. “This agreement, which builds upon our existing relationship with Five Prime in immuno-oncology, is another important example of our commitment to expanding our presence in this space and to researching novel combination regimens.”
“We believe this transformational collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb for our CSF1R antibody program represents the best of both worlds in terms of maximizing the potential of FPA008,” said Lewis T. “Rusty” Williams, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Five Prime Therapeutics. “Bristol-Myers Squibb has undisputed leadership in the immuno-oncology landscape, deep clinical development and regulatory expertise, and an established commercial infrastructure to deliver important new therapies to patients. Bristol-Myers Squibb also has a rich pipeline of clinical candidates and approved products, a number of which may have therapeutic synergy when coupled with FPA008, given the potential of CSF1R inhibition to suppress the activity and survival of tumor associated macrophages. At the same time, Five Prime will continue to conduct trials in pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) and immuno-oncology with FPA008, which is a product of our proprietary protein platform and our discovery of IL-34, one of the two ligands for CSF1R that FPA008 blocks.”
Under the terms of the license and collaboration agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will make an upfront payment of $350 million to Five Prime. Bristol-Myers Squibb will be responsible for development and manufacturing of FPA008 for all indications, subject to Five Prime’s option to conduct, at its own cost, certain future studies including registrational studies to support approval of FPA008 in PVNS and FPA008 in combination with Five Prime’s internal pipeline assets in immuno-oncology. Five Prime will continue to conduct the current Phase 1a/1b trial evaluating the combination of Opdivo and FPA008 in six tumor settings, which was announced as part of the companies’ initial clinical collaboration in November 2014, through to completion. Bristol-Myers Squibb will be responsible for global commercialization, and Five Prime will retain rights to a U.S. co-promotion option. In addition to the upfront payment, Five Prime will be eligible to receive up to $1.05 billion in development and regulatory milestone payments per anti-CSF1R product for oncology indications (including combinations with Opdivo and any other agent), and up to $340 million in development and regulatory milestone payments per anti-CSF1R product for non-oncology indications, as well as double digit royalties, such royalties to be enhanced in the U.S. in the event that Five Prime exercises its co-promotion option.
The effectiveness of the agreement is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.