Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has agreed to pay $300 million to acquire Cambridge-based IFM Therapeutics, a venture-backed startup founded in 2015 focused on innate immunity and the role it plays in regulating the immune system. IFM’s team has discovered and developed small molecules that modulate novel targets in the innate immune system as next-generation therapies for cancer, autoimmunity, and inflammatory disorders.
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will pay $300 million upon closing of the transaction. IFM stockholders also will be entitled to additional contingent payments upon the achievement of certain development, regulatory and sales milestones.
“Targeting innate immunity pathways represents a potentially differentiated approach in immuno-oncology designed to initiate and augment immune responses that may help the body’s natural defenses better recognize and attack tumors,” said Thomas Lynch, Jr., M.D., executive vice president, chief scientific officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb.
In connection with the acquisition, a newly formed entity – IFM Therapeutics LLC – will be established by the current shareholders of IFM and will retain IFM’s current personnel and facilities, as well as its remaining research programs, including one focused on curbing immune responses that lead to inflammatory diseases and fibrosis. (Source: Bristol-Myers Squibb Website, 03 August, 2017)