Rigel Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers Squibb have entered into a collaboration agreement for the discovery, development and commercialization of cancer immunotherapies based on Rigel’s extensive portfolio of small molecule TGF beta receptor kinase inhibitors. T
GF beta can promote tumor growth, broadly suppress the immune system and increase the ability of tumors to spread in the body. The collaboration will focus on developing a new class of therapeutics aimed at increasing the immune system’s activity against various cancers either as monotherapy or in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors, including BMS’ Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab).
BMS will obtain exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize small molecule therapeutics derived from Rigel’s TGF beta library, including, but not limited to, those approved to treat cancer. BMS will pay $30 million upfront and Rigel will be eligible to receive development and regulatory milestones that could total more than $309 million for a successful compound approved in multiple indications. Rigel also will be eligible to receive tiered royalties on the net sales of any products from the collaboration.
Carl Decicco, Ph.D., head of discovery, R&D, BMS, said, “Working with Rigel and having access to their TGF beta receptor kinase inhibitors extends our existing portfolio of immunotherapeutic approaches to include this key mediator of immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment.”