Bristol-Myers Squibb wants to strengthen its immuno-oncology even further. For this, it is acquiring Cormorant – a Biotech developing immunotherapies in a deal that could go up to €460M.
Based at the Karolinska Institute Science Park in Stockholm (Sweden), Cormorant was a private Biotech focusing on cancer immunotherapies.
Its main program was HuMax-IL8, which is currently in Phase I/II trials. This therapeutic antibody targets interleukin-8 (IL-8), a protein is expressed by many solid tumors. IL-8 also suppresses the immune system and increases the ability of tumors to metastasize.
Actually, this particular candidate had been acquired from Genmab (Denmark) in 2012. In 2014, the two companies had also entered a collaboration for new anti-IL8 candidates with the DuoBody technology – quite popular with Pharma and Biotech.
Now, this IL-8 program will end up in the hands of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). This NY-based Pharma is acquiring Cormorant for around €85M ($95M) in upfront and close milestones payments.