Bristol Myers Squibb checks 'yes' on another Prothena neurodegenerative therapy

Bristol Myers Squibb is again dipping into the well of therapies being developed by Prothena, this time for an exclusive license to a neurodegenerative candidate that is about to slide into human testing.

Prothena’s investigational new drug (IND) application for PRX019 was cleared by the FDA in December 2023, and, now, BMS is paying out $80 million for exclusive global rights. The therapy is aimed at an undisclosed target, and a trial is expected to get underway by the end of this year, according to a Tuesday evening press release

In addition to the opt-in fee, Prothena will be eligible for development, regulatory and sales milestone payments of up to $617.5 million down the line, plus royalties on sales.

This is the second clinical program to come out of the Prothena-BMS collaboration after the Big Pharma paid out $55 million for a worldwide license to clinical-phase Alzheimer’s disease candidate PRX005 in July 2023. BMS previously paid $80 million to Prothena for an initial opt-in on U.S. rights to PRX005 in 2021.

The companies also share a preclinical amyotrophic lateral sclerosis treatment called TDP-43.

Prothena has additional deals with Novo Nordisk to work on a phase 2 ATTR amyloidosis candidate and Roche, where the companies are developing prasinezumab for Parkinson’s disease, also in phase 2.

Furthest along in the pipeline is birtamimab, which Prothena is developing alone for AL amyloidosis in phase 3.