Bristol-Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) will acquire Padlock Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on creating medicines that address destructive autoimmune diseases. The transaction is part of Bristol-Myers efforts to strengthen and accelerate the company’s immunoscience pipeline.

Padlock, based in Bristol, Massachusetts, will give Bristol-Myers full rights to its protein/peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD) inhibitor discovery program, which treats patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and may also prove useful in treating systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases.

This is the latest addition for Bristol-Myers in the autoimmune space. In February 2015, the company acquired Flexus Biosciences Inc. and Rigel Pharmaceutical Inc.to bolster its portfolio of products that boost the body's immune system to fight cancer. Bristol-Myers says it is purchasing Padlock for upfront and near-term contingent milestone payments of up to $225 million. An additional contingent payment of up to $375 million will be considered upon the achievement by Bristol-Myers Squibb of certain development and regulatory events, the company says.

 “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,” says Francis Cuss, executive vice president at Bristol-Myers. The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2016.

Additionally, this is the latest M&A activity in the area of biotech. In January, Roche Holding AG (VTX: ROG) announced plans to purchase Tensha Therapeutics, which is backed by Healthcare Ventures for up to $535 million. In October 2015, Roche also purchased Adheron Therapeutics for up to $580 million from a consortium of venture capital firms.

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