Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) and Simcere Pharmaceutical Group (NYSE: SCR), a leading pharmaceutical company in China, today announced that the companies have expanded the strategic partnership formed last year to include a second collaboration in a different therapeutic area. The companies agreed to co-develop BMS-795311, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s preclinical small molecule inhibitor of the Cholesteryl Ester Transfer Protein (CETP). Inhibiting CETP could potentially raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels and help prevent cardiovascular disease. This collaboration is expected to accelerate the delivery of clinical Phase IIa proof-of-concept by leveraging the complementary strengths of a premier Chinese pharmaceutical company and a global biopharmaceutical company.
Under the terms of the agreement, Simcere will receive exclusive rights to develop and commercialize BMS-795311 in China while Bristol-Myers Squibb will retain exclusive rights in all other markets. The companies will together determine the strategic development plan to explore the potential of BMS-795311 to treat and prevent progression of cardiovascular disease. Simcere will run and fund initial development work. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“We reached another important milestone in our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb by expanding the collaboration to a second program. It further demonstrates our commitment and capabilities in building a sustainable development platform with our strategic partners. We are excited to continue the momentum and leverage our combined strengths in product development,” commented Dr. Peng Wang, chief scientific officer, Simcere Pharmaceutical Group.
“Simcere was the first company with which Bristol-Myers Squibb created a partnership under our Oyster Strategy to seed companies in key markets with promising investigational medicines of continued interest from our early pipeline,” said Francis Cuss, M.D., senior vice president, Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “That partnership, focused on an oncology compound, has gone extremely well and we are excited to expand our relationship to include a second collaboration in another therapeutic area. Working together we are building on the strengths of both organizations to develop potential medicines and help patients.”