BMS buys autoimmune biotech Padlock for up to $600 million

Bristol-Myers Squibb is to buy US biotech Padlock Therapeutics, which aims to create treatments for serious autoimmune diseases, in a deal worth up to $600 million.

BMS said it will acquire all outstanding stock of privately-owned Padlock, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The acquisition will give BMS full rights to Padlock’s Protein/Peptidyl Arginine Deiminase (PAD) inhibitor discovery programme, which could lead to transformational treatments for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

The programme could also find treatments for systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases, BMS said.

Francis Cuss, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at BMS, said: “By pursuing a treatment approach which may address disease progression earlier, we hope to transform the lives of patients with RA and other autoimmune diseases.”

The deal includes upfront and near term contingent milestone payments of up to $225 million and an additional contingent payment of up to $375 million if BMS achieves certain development and regulatory events.

It has been approved by both companies’ boards and will close during the second quarter.

Bruce Booth, partner in Atlas Venture, which co-founded Padlock in summer of 2013, said Padlock had raised around $18 million in funding since its inception.

He said in a blog that Padlock’s R&D progress has been “staggeringly fast” and had attracted “multiple suitors” late last year.

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