Bristol-Myers Squibb announced that it has acquired iPierian along with its lead asset IPN007, a preclinical monoclonal antibody that uses a new approach to treat progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare brain disease with Tau dysfunction that presents as an atypical parkinsonian disorder.
Under the terms of the new agreement, BMS has acquired iPierian in an all cash transaction for a purchase price of $175 million. The transaction includes potential payments for development and regulatory milestones totaling $550 million, along with future royalties on net sales. iPierian is a privately held biotechnology company focused on new drug discovery and development for the treatment of Tauopathies.
Tauopathies are neurodegenerative diseases linked with the pathological aggregation of the Tau protein in the brain. Genetically defined diseases, such as progressive supranuclear palsy, result from a known change in the genome. The genomic change is studied to design a therapeutic approached targeting a specific molecular defect, such as the anti-Tau antibody for PSP.
Dr. Nancy Stagliano, CEO of iPierian, said, “iPierian’s discovery of a novel mechanism of secreted Tau biology was the basis of the IPN007 program. The Bristol-Myers Squibb acquisition reinforces the importance of this finding and we are gratified that IPN007 is strongly positioned now to potentially offer a new therapeutic option to progressive supranuclear palsy patients.”
Initial development focus for IPN007 would center on PSP with potential for future development in other Tauopathies such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer’s Disease. The antibody could commence Phase I clinical trials by early 2015.
Dr. Peter Van Vlasselaer, executive chairman of iPierian, said that Bristol-Myers Squibb and iPierian are on the same page strategically and scientifically, especially in terms of innovative drug discovery related to the Tau pathway. “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s global leadership in Tau biology and antibody development creates an ideal setting to accelerate and fully develop the clinical potential of IPN007,” Dr. Van Vlasselaer said.
Francis Cuss, EVP and CSO of Bristol-Myers Squibb, said that the acquisition of iPierian will enable the company to expand its efforts and expertise in the development of treatments targeting the Tau pathway and other neurological diseases.