MUSC and Bristol-Myers Squibb Partner for Fibrotic Disease Research

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the Medical University of South Carolina recently signed a translational research partnership that will focus on fibrotic diseases, such as scleroderma, renal fibrosis, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This collaboration will also cover studies developed to further explore the disease mechanism of fibrosis, patient segmentation, and their biomarkers or predictors.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb’s collaboration with MUSC further strengthens and advances our Discovery research efforts in fibrotic diseases, a strategic area of focus for the company,” said Carl Decicco, Ph.D., Head of Discovery, R&D, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “MUSC brings substantial expertise in translational research and drug discovery related to fibrotic diseases including access to patient derived disease tissue samples that will help us accelerate the application of scientific knowledge to potential new treatment approaches for patients.”

“This is an exciting opportunity with the potential to make a significant impact in fibrotic diseases and in patients’ lives with these debilitating diseases,” said Karen Lackey, MUSC Center for Therapeutic Discovery and Development executive director and pharmacy associate professor. “Our goal with translational research is to shorten the timeline in getting patients the medications and treatments they need. We have unparalleled expertise in fibrosis research at MUSC, and this collaboration with a leader like Bristol-Myers Squibb in discovery and development of medications is going to take that foundational work to the next level.”

Together, MUSC and Bristol-Myers are determined to find answers and better solutions to fibrotic diseases through the discovery and development of revolutionary medicine that can stop or slow disease progression. Bristol-Myers product lineup indicated for fibrosis includes BMS-986020, which is a lysophosphatidic acid 1 (LPA1) receptor antagonist, currently in Phase 2 clinical testing as a potential treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The company is also working on a CCR2/5 dual antagonist, now in Phase 2 development for diabetic kidney disease.

Last November, Bristol-Myers and Galecto Biotech AB signed an agreement that grants the former exclusivity in acquiring Galecto along with international rights to its flagship drug candidate, TD139 – an inhaled inhibitor of galectin-3, currently in Phase I studies for IPF. Later, in January 2015, Bristol-Myers began a collaborative agreement with the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) to develop small molecule anti-fibrotic treatments.

As per this agreement, Bristol-Myers also acquired exclusive licensing rights to develop, manufacture and commercialize Calibr’s preclinical compounds developed from the collaboration.

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