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BMS adds lead TGF-beta asset to portfolio through acquisition

25 Aug 2020

Forbius's lead investigational asset, AVID200 holds promise as an effective and well-tolerated therapeutic in fibrotic diseases and immuno-oncology.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has agreed to acquire Forbius, a privately held, clinical-stage protein engineering company that designs and develops biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and fibrotic diseases.

Forbius has developed a portfolio of highly selective and potent inhibitors of TGF-beta 1 & 3, which are key mediators of immunosuppression and fibrosis.

Under this transaction, which the companies anticipate will be completed later this year, BMS will acquire Forbius’s TGF-beta program, including the program’s lead investigational asset, AVID200.

According to Ilia A. Tikhomirov, President and CEO of Forbius, their portfolio of highly selective TGF-beta inhibitors has shown potential across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

TGF-beta is a key cytokine that regulates various cell processes, including regulation of the immune system. Selective inhibition of TGF-beta 1 & 3 may enhance anti-tumor efficacy by acting synergistically with immunotherapy.

BMS says it intends to initially focus research and development efforts of AVID200 in oncology and may consider advancing the asset in other disease areas, such as fibrosis.

Forbius’s non-TGF-beta assets will be transferred to a newly formed private company, which will be retained by Forbius’ existing shareholders.

“With this acquisition, we extend our leading position in oncology by including new pathways that complement our expansive oncology pipeline with the potential to serve more patients with cancer, including those who may not respond to immunotherapy,” said Rupert Vessey, Executive Vice President & President, Research & Early Development, BMS.

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