BMS, SystImmune ink deal to develop cancer ADC

Dec. 12, 2023

Bristol Myers Squibb has signed an exclusive license and collaboration agreement with SystImmune for a potentially first-in-class bispecific antibody-drug conjugate targeting both EGFR and HER3. 

Under the terms of the deal, BMS and SystImmune, the U.S.-based arm of China's Sichuan Biokin Pharmaceutical, will jointly develop and commercialize BL-B01D1 in the U.S. BL-B01D1, a bispecific topoisomerase inhibitor-based ADC, is currently being evaluated in a global phase 1 study in individuals with metastatic or unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Data from earlier clinical studies demonstrate promising anti-tumor activity in patients with a range of solid tumors that had progressed after standard-of-care treatments, including NSCLC and breast cancer.

SystImmune will be responsible for development and commercialization in Mainland China, while BMS will handle the rest of the world.

Per the agreement, BMS will pay SystImmune $800 million upfront and up to $500 million in contingent near-term payments. SystImmune is eligible to receive additional payments of up to $7.1 billion for a total potential consideration of up to $8.4 billion. 

The agreement marks the third and largest ADC signed by BMS this year. Last month, the drugmaker announced it will acquire South Korea-based Orum Therapeutics' protein degrader program, ORM-6151, with an eye on first-in-class treatments for cancer. Orum has developed new molecular glue degrader payloads to specifically degrade an intracellular target protein within cancer cells. Conjugated to antibodies, the payloads are designed to be delivered specifically to cancer cells and degrade the intracellular target protein GSPT1 and cause tumor cell death. 

Under the agreement, BMS will pay $100 million upfront for the program, with potential milestone payments totaling $180 million. 

Back in April, BMS signed a deal with Tubulis, to get access to the German biotech's proprietary conjugation platform. The deal included an upfront payment of $22.75 million to Tubulis in addition to the potential for over $1 billion in milestone and royalty payments.