- A newly announced collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Five Prime, which hinges on use of Five Prime's antibody-based compounds, could be worth as much as $1.75 billion. Five Prime is receiving $350 million up front.
- One of the main candidates in development, FPA008, is in the first round of testing and is being paired with BMS's Opdivo (nivolumab) to address various types of cancer.
- News of the deal sent Five Prime's shares soaring—up 64% shortly after the annoucement.
BMS is already a big player in the immuno-oncology space, with both Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab) growing in terms of sales and expectations that both will be major blockbusters. Even now, earnings are solid and the two drugs, both of which are indicated for treatment of advanced melanoma, are often used together. Add to that the fact that the recent FDA aproval (a week ago) for an expanded indication for Opdivo to include lung cancer, and it's clear that BMS is adept in this space.
The goal of the partnership with Five Prime is to develop immuno-oncology drugs, starting with testing FPA-008 in combination with Opdivo for treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, melanoma, head and neck cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, and brain glioblastoma. Each of these areas represents an area of unmet medical need.