Bristol-Myers forms fibrotic disease biotech, bags buyout option

Bristol-Myers Squibb
BioMotiv expects Anteros to be “the first of several companies” it founds with Bristol-Myers. (Bristol-Myers Squibb)

Bristol-Myers Squibb has created a fibrotic and inflammatory disease biotech through its partnership with BioMotiv. The biotech, Anteros Pharmaceuticals, starts life with materials from Bristol-Myers to support development of small molecules and the potential to land a takeover by the Big Pharma.

BioMotiv, an accelerator linked to the $340 million Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, teamed up with Bristol-Myers in September. The partnership positioned Bristol-Myers to help found and fund biotechs with a view to acquiring them following the identification of a preclinical prospect. The creation of Anteros follows that blueprint.

The agreement sees Bristol-Myers provide Anteros with intellectual property, data and reagents for small molecules against an undisclosed mechanism. Bristol-Myers in-licensed the original IP from Yale University, which will work with Anteros to advance the small molecules.

Once Anteros nominates a preclinical candidate, Bristol-Myers has an option to buy the biotech from BioMotiv under pre-agreed terms. The structure gives Bristol-Myers a chance to see where the Yale IP leads without committing internal resources to the advancement of the science. 

The arrangement is a slight twist on how BioMotiv typically founds biotechs. BioMotiv’s focus is on finding promising science in academia, creating startups to house it and helping researchers take it forward. In the case of Anteros, the science had already left academia and entered industry via Bristol-Myers’ deal with Yale. BioMotiv is involving Yale to keep the science moving forward.

Anteros is the first biotech created by Bristol-Myers and BioMotiv in the months since they unveiled their strategic partnership. The plan is to roll out more biotechs in the future, with BioMotiv CEO Satish Jindal describing Anteros as “the first of several companies” the partners intend to found.