Bristol-Myers Squibb and California Institute For Biomedical Research Collaborate On Anti-Fibrotic Therapy

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shutterstock_183548651A new collaboration between Bristol-Myers Squibb and the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) was announced today. The new collaboration aims to develop new small molecule anti-fibrotic therapies and includes an agreement that enables Bristol-Myers Squibb to develop, produce and commercialize the preclinical compounds that can result from this same collaboration.

Carl Decicco, Ph.D., from Bristol-Myers Squibb said in a press release: “Bristol-Myers Squibb’s collaboration with Calibr further strengthens our Specialty portfolio and advances the company’s fibrotic diseases pipeline with the addition of this promising program. Calibr’s innovative discovery program in fibrosis represents an opportunity to develop new treatment approaches for patients.”

Peter G. Schultz, Ph.D., Institute Director and Founder of Calibr, added: “Progressing our small molecule anti-fibrotic program toward the clinic represents a critical step in our mission to deliver therapies for unmet medical needs to patients. We are delighted to accelerate these efforts by partnering with Bristol-Myers Squibb.”

Calibr, an independent and non-profit organization that identifies and optimizes small molecules associated with fibrotic activity, is dedicated to accelerating the translation of basic discoveries into usable medicines. Bristol-Myers Squibb, in turn, is focused on developing new medicines to stop and slow the progression of fibrotic diseases.

Among the assets in Bristol-Myers Squibb’s fibrosis portfolio are BMS-986020, a lysophosphatidic acid 1 (LPA1) receptor antagonist in Phase 2 development for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and a CCR2/5 dual antagonist in Phase 2 development for diabetic kidney disease.

In late November, Bristol-Myers Squibb announced a collaboration with Galecto Biotech AB that provided them the rights to the TD139, the new inhibitor of galectin-3 that is now in Phase 1 clinical trials for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other pulmonary fibrotic diseases.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a condition that causes scars that are formed in the tissues within the lungs. This phenomenon can cause serious breathing problems, since there is an accumulation of connective tissue which causes the thickening of the lungs’ walls, reducing the amount of oxygen that can enter and decreasing the oxygen that reach the cells through the blood.

The transaction between Bristol-Myers Squibb and Calibr is expected to be concluded during the first quarter of 2015.

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Isaura Santos graduated with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology from Universidade Nova de Lisboa and a MA in Communication, Culture and Information Technologies from University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). Her professional interests include science communication, public awareness of science and communication of science through entertainment.
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