US pharma major Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) and CytomX Therapeutics (Nasdaq: CTMX) today announced an expansion of their 2014 strategic collaboration to discover novel therapies that will include up to eight additional targets using CytomX’s proprietary Probody platform.
The partnership is worth up to $3.8 billion, including around $3.6 billion in potential milestone payments. CytomX’s stock was up 24.8% at $18.94 by late Monday morning.
As part of the original collaboration signed in May 2014 to discover, develop and commercialize Probody therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb selected four oncology targets, including CTLA-4. In the collaboration to date, Bristol-Myers Squibb has progressed the CTLA-4 Probody therapeutic to Investigational New Drug-enabling studies and the three other programs are in the lead discovery and optimization phase.
“CytomX’s Probody platform has enhanced our discovery research as we seek to direct the therapeutic effects of immunotherapy in a more targeted approach against tumors,” said Carl Decicco, head of discovery, Bristol-Myers Squibb, adding: “We look forward to working more extensively with CytomX on this innovative and potentially disruptive approach in oncology as well as other disease areas.”
Also, in 2014, CytomX signed a collaboration with US biotech firm ImmunoGen (Nasdaq: IMGN), following a $635 million oncology agreement with US pharma giant Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) in 2013.