BMS jumps into radiopharma space with $4.1B RayzeBio buy

Dec. 27, 2023

In a bid to establish itself in the fast-growing radiopharma space, Bristol Myers Squibb will acquire emerging star RayzeBio in a cash deal worth approximately $4.1 billion.

Unlike currently approved radiopharma drugs, such as Novartis' Lutathera and Pluvicto, which rely on Lutetium-177, San Diego-based RayzeBio's pipeline hinges on actinium-based radiopharmaceuticals. According to BMS, actinium-based therapies offer potential advantages over currently available radiopharmaceuticals since the high potency and short firing range of the alpha-emitter create the possibility for stronger efficacy and more targeted delivery.

“Acquiring RayzeBio’s differentiated actinium-based radiopharmaceutical platform will establish Bristol Myers Squibb’s presence in one of the most promising and fastest-growing new modalities for the treatment of patients with solid tumors — delivering radioactive payloads to cancer cells in a targeted manner,” said Samit Hirawat, M.D., BMS' chief medical officer of Drug Development.

The well-funded biotech, which began operations in August 2020, has a pipeline of potentially first-in-class and best-in-class drug development programs. Its lead program, RYZ101, is in phase 3 development for treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and early-stage development for small cell lung cancer and other tumor types.

The holidays haven't slowed BMS' deal-making. Last week, the drugmaker picked up psychiatric and neurological treatment specialist Karuna Therapeutics in a $14 billion deal. Earlier this month, BMS inked its largest ADC deal of the year, signing a license and collaboration agreement with SystImmune worth up to $8.4 billion for a potentially first-in-class bispecific ADC targeting both EGFR and HER3.