NEW YORK & PARIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) and Enterome, a pioneer in the development of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics based on the gut microbiome, announced that they have entered into an Immuno-Oncology focused collaboration agreement for the discovery and development of microbiome-derived biomarkers, drug targets and bioactive molecules to be developed as potential companion diagnostics and therapeutics for cancer. Additionally, the collaboration will seek to identify novel microbiome-derived biomarkers in an effort to improve clinical outcomes for patients treated with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Immuno-Oncology portfolio.
The collaboration will combine Bristol-Myers Squibb’s expertise in the discovery and development of novel immunotherapies with Enterome’s proprietary metagenomic technology platform and leadership in the rapidly advancing science of the gut microbiome to support the discovery of novel immunotherapy agents and biomarkers. There is a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest that the gut microbiome plays an important role in modulating mechanisms of response and resistance to cancer immunotherapies. Changes in a host’s immune system driven by the gut microbiome can be exploited to identify specific targets and bioactive compounds with the potential to augment anti-cancer immune responses.
“We continue to pursue the full potential of Immuno-Oncology by applying rapidly evolving science, technology and research to our strong foundation in harnessing the immune system to fight cancer,” said Carl Decicco, Ph.D., head of discovery at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “Business development has been integral in partnering external innovation with our internal R&D expertise and capabilities. Enterome’s focus on target identification and validation along with their significant experience in microbiome research can help to advance our goal to improve outcomes for patients treated with immunotherapies.”
“We are delighted to collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb to help advance the field of Immuno-Oncology,” said Pierre Belichard, chief executive officer at Enterome. “The exciting combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s extensive capabilities in Immuno-Oncology with our expertise in identifying novel targets and molecules derived from the gut microbiome is highly complementary, and offers a unique opportunity to develop a new generation of cancer drugs and diagnostics.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb will be granted exclusive rights to intellectual property and therapies generated during the collaboration. Enterome will receive an upfront payment of $15 million for access to its technology plus R&D funding. Enterome is also eligible to receive preclinical and clinical milestone payments for each licensed therapeutic candidate plus royalties on net sales. Enterome is eligible for additional milestone payments in relation to new diagnostic products discovered and developed during the collaboration. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
About the Microbiome and Immuno-Oncology
In the past decade, an explosion of research in the microbiome field has revealed a remarkable symbiotic relationship between the gut bacteria and its human host, enhancing biotech companies’ interest in manipulating this relationship to improve human health. Scientists have shown that the gut microbiome plays an important role in regulating metabolism, influencing the chemistry in the brain, acting as a barrier to pathogens and regulating the immune system. In the cancer context, recent publications have demonstrated the role of the intestinal microbiome in mediating immune activation in response to chemotherapeutic agents. New cancer immunotherapies have improved outcomes in cancer patients and their combination with microbiome-based therapeutics may help to boost the immune system and potentially lead to improved outcomes in more patients.
About Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.
Enterome is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceuticals and diagnostics to support personalized therapies in microbiome-related diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), cancer and metabolic diseases.
Enterome is also leading the development of new industry standards in gut microbiome quantitative and functional analysis. This technology leadership allows Enterome to open up the new field of therapeutic target discovery in the microbiome in order to address significant unmet medical needs.
Enterome has established partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and academic research institutes, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation/Janssen Biotech, Takeda and Abbvie in inflammatory bowel and gastro-intestinal diseases; Bristol-Myers Squibb in immuno-oncology; and the Mayo Clinic and Geisinger hospitals in metabolic disorders.
The Company was established in 2012 in Paris, France to develop the discoveries made by the INRA metagenomic platform. The Company has raised a total of €32 million from leading venture capital investors (Seventure Partners, Lundbeckfonden Ventures, Health for Life Capital & Omnes Capital) and strategic investors (Nestlé Health Science, Shire & INRA Transfert). Additional information about Enterome is available through its website: www.enterome.com.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Forward-Looking Statement
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding the research, development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed. Among other risks, there can be no guarantee that the investigational compounds discussed in this release will be successfully developed or approved for any of the indications described in this release. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Bristol-Myers Squibb's business, particularly those identified in the cautionary factors discussion in Bristol-Myers Squibb's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Current Reports on Form 8-K. Bristol-Myers Squibb undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.