Charles River-backed BioMotiv bears fruit with first biotech

By Ben Hargreaves contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Vladimir Borovic)
(Image: Getty/Vladimir Borovic)

Related tags: Charles river laboratories, BioMotiv, Bristol-myers squibb

BioMotiv and BMS signed an unusual drug development agreement, which has culminated in the launch of Anteros Pharmaceuticals.

BioMotiv and Charles River are all involved in a chain of drug development, which sees BioMotiv select the academic research to back, while Charles River undertakes the discovery and preclinical development services​. At the end of the chain, BMS is able to choose which projects to fund further.

The drug development pathway has now realized its first spunout project, with Anteros Pharmaceuticals launched to develop ‘a new class of drugs’ for fibrotic and other inflammatory diseases.

“Anteros will focus on refining a new class of drug candidates for inflammatory diseases, where currently there are no real answers to multiple diseases that afflict millions of patients,”​ said Satish Jindal BioMotiv’s CEO.

The terms of the partnership will see BMS contribute intellectual property (IP), data, and reagents for a number of small molecules against an undisclosed mechanism. BioMotiv, for its part, will be responsible for R&D, in collaboration with Yale University, from which the IP was first developed.

As part of the agreement, once Anteros has nominated a preclinical candidate, BMS is able to step into acquire the company BioMotiv under ‘pre-agreed terms.’

This form of drug development, which sees BMS take a backseat in the process until a preclinical candidate emerges, represents a form of outsourcing of the early R&D stage that takes away some of the risk and cost of developing such projects in-house – as returns on investment decline​.

Rupert Vessey, EVP of research & early development at BMS, also noted that such partnerships allow the company to extend its reach beyond its own capabilities and broaden its early-stage research.

Jindal also noted that Anteros is the first of several companies that BMS and BioMotiv intend to form under their strategic partnership agreement.

Though this is the first biotech to be spunout out of BioMotiv’s relationship with BMS, it has previously established collaborative biotechs with AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, amongst others.

BioMotiv is currently sat on $340m (€308m) to develop further projects, with each strategic partnership contributing financially to the for-profit’s reserve of capital. Exact financials details of BioMotiv’s collaboration with BMS were not revealed.

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