Amira spins out programs with $475M BMS buyout

Some members of Amira's successful team are moving on to a new startup. With Bristol-Myers Squibb ($BMY) wrapping up its buyout of San Diego-based Amira, the company is spinning out a program with candidates for inflammatory diseases into a new group called Panmira Pharmaceuticals. Amira's shareholders are also holding on to rights to the firm's 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein inhibitor program involved in a licensing pact with GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) through a non-operating limited liability company dubbed FLAP. Xconomy was early on the story about the spinouts.

In Panmira's DLP inhibitor program, there are two molecules in development--AM211 and AM461. These molecules have the potential to treat asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and eosinophillic esophagitis, according to the company. The candidates have been tested in Phase I studies and are poised for mid-stage development. Amira's former chief executive Bob Baltera is helming the upstart as its CEO, according to a release.

"Now that we have successfully completed the sale of Amira to Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, a subset of the former Amira team will focus on completing our partnership efforts for the DP2 program," Baltera said in a statement. "We believe that spinning out these assets will be the best way to maximize their value for Amira's shareholders, and we look forward to accomplishing this goal."

Amira's shareholders--including Avalon Ventures, Novo A/S, Prospect Venture Partners and Versant Ventures--were already rewarded when BMS agreed in July to shell out $325 million upfront and $150 million in potential milestones to acquire the small developer, which was a 2010 Fierce 15 company.

- here's the release
- see Xconomy's report