BMS will pay $50m in upfront fees to acquire F-star together with licensing rights to its product, with the possibility of growing into a $475m deal, if FS102 reaches U.S. and European markets.
BMS has signed multiple agreements with renowned pharmaceutical companies and institutions, such as Janssen, Novartis, Celgene, and the MD Anderson Cancer Centre in the US, in the hopes of strengthening its position in the field of cancer immunotherapy.
FS102 is an investigational Phase 1 HER2-tageted therapy for the treatment of breast and gastric cancers in HER2-positive patients who do not respond or become resistant to current therapies. FS102 is a bispecific antibody that has the capacity to destroy cancer cells using a novel mechanism of action, that specifically binds a particular site of the HER2 receptor in tumor cells, inducing a cascade of signals that results in programmed cell death.
Previous clinical studies of FS102 have shown promising results concerning tumor regression of HER2-positive cancers, including those refractory to trastuzumab and pertuzumab treatment.
“This agreement is consistent with our R&D strategy to develop promising treatments that address areas of high unmet medical need, and provides the opportunity to complement our oncology portfolio with a novel targeted therapy,” Francis Cuss MB BChir, FRCP, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a company’s press release. “We look forward to working with F-star and leveraging our broad clinical expertise in oncology to uncover the full potential of FS102.”
“We are thrilled that a company with the oncology experience and expertise of Bristol-Myers Squibb will be advancing our first clinical asset with the potential to provide a significant improvement over the current standard of care for a defined group of patients with HER2-positive cancer,” added John Haurum, M.D., D.Phil., chief executive officer at F-star Biotechnology Ltd. “In addition to the important improvement of cancer therapy FS102 may provide to patients, this program also provides validation of the Modular Antibody Technology platform as a powerful engine to discover and rapidly develop novel targeted biologics.”