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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  Bristol-Myers Squibb Company    BMY

BRISTOL-MYERS SQUIBB COMPANY

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Bristol Myers Squibb : Computational scientists design a new IL-2 cancer drug and spin it out into a biotech startup

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01/12/2019 | 04:42am EDT

One of the Holy Grails in the booming immuno-oncology research field right now involves finding an IL-2 drug that can be used safely and effectively to combat cancer, without the immense toxicity that has largely sidelined the original IL-2 Proleukin. Bristol-Myers Squibb paid Nektar $1.85 billion in upfront cash to partner on NKTR-214 which has since come under a cloud of uncertainty over flailing response rates in their key demonstration study combining it with Opdivo.

Now a group of scientists at the University of Washington says they built an IL-2 protein therapy all their own, and theyve launched a new biotech Neoleukin to take it forward from mouse studies toward the clinic.

Describing their work to a writer at UW Medicine, the group says they designed their protein to bind specifically to IL-2 beta and gamma receptors to whip up a more potent T cell response to cancer while steering clear of CD25 to circumvent the toxic reaction. By doing that they created a lab model of the drug that the scientists were able to ratchet up the dose on without the lethal reaction.

They also added a complementary component for IL-15 to increase the efficacy and dubbed the drug Neo-2/15, describing it as particularly small and stable. And the game plan is to continue to use their computational skills to improve the drug.

Neo-2/15 has therapeutic properties that are at least as good as or better than naturally occurring IL-2, but it was computationally designed to be much less toxic, said Umut Ulge, one of the lead authors of a paper published in Nature.

Neoleukin, though, is hardly the only rival to the throne that Nektar and Bristol-Myers Squibb have been striving for. Laura Shawvers Synthorx has also been angling for the clinic in H1 of this year with their drug candidate Synthorin IL-2, backed by Orbimed and Medicxi. The biotech $THOR went public just a few weeks ago, raising $150 million.

Last November Nektar Therapeutics $NKTR managed to add 1 more patient out of its 38 evaluable stage 4 melanoma patients to the win column with its closely-watched 3-month update on Opdivo/NKTR-214s objective response rate. That managed to nudge up the ORR from 50% a figure that routed Nektars stock at ASCO to 53%. But the scientists also pushed up the complete response rate to 24%, maintaining they were satisfied with the improved response they were seeing.

(c) 2019 Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All rights reserved Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info)., source Middle East & North African Newspapers

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Financials ($)
Sales 2019 23 977 M
EBIT 2019 6 881 M
Net income 2019 6 782 M
Finance 2019 3 655 M
Yield 2019 3,41%
P/E ratio 2019 11,89
P/E ratio 2020 11,52
EV / Sales 2019 3,13x
EV / Sales 2020 2,85x
Capitalization 78 630 M
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Giovanni Caforio Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Johanna Mercier President & Head-US Commercial
Charles A. Bancroft CFO, EVP & Head-Global Business Operations
Paul von Autenried Chief Information Officer & Senior Vice President
Thomas James Lynch Chief Scientific Officer & Executive VP
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