BMS bets on Immatics cancer drug

Dec. 14, 2021

Bristol Myers Squibb has agreed to spend up to $920 million for global exclusive rights to Immatics' most advanced product candidate, an experimental immunotherapy, in a bid to expand its cancer pipeline.

Under the agreement, the companies will co-develop the therapy, IMA401. Cancer-focused German drug developer Immatics will receive an upfront payment of $150 million, up to $770 million in milestone payments and tiered double-digit royalty payments on net sales of the therapy.

Currently in pre-clinical development, IMA401 is a half-life extended antibody-like “off-the-shelf” biologic. It belongs to a category of treatments that aim to activate T-cells against cancer cells. It is geared to target proteins prevalent in many types of solid tumors, including a type of non-small cell lung cancer as well as head and neck cancer.

The deal builds on Immatics’ 2019 collaboration with Celgene (later purchased by BMS) to develop new cell therapies for multiple cancers.