New York – August 25, 2020 – Cooley advised Forbius – a clinical-stage protein engineering company that designs and develops biotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer and fibrotic diseases – on its agreement to sell to Bristol Myers Squibb. Lawyers Barbara Borden, Marya Postner and Rowook Park led the Cooley team advising Forbius.
“Our portfolio of highly selective TGF-beta inhibitors has shown potential across a broad range of therapeutic areas,” Ilia A. Tikhomirov, president and CEO of Forbius, said in a news release. “We are proud that Bristol Myers Squibb recognizes this potential given their global leadership in oncology and unique position to translate innovative science into meaningful treatments for patients with cancer across the globe."
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol Myers Squibb will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Forbius through a plan of arrangement under the laws of Quebec. Forbius owns a TGF-beta program, including the program’s lead investigational asset, AVID200. TGF-beta is a key cytokine that regulates various cell processes, including regulation of the immune system. Selective inhibition of TGF-beta 1 and 3 may enhance anti-tumor efficacy by acting synergistically with immunotherapy. Bristol Myers Squibb 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.
The transaction is expected to close in Q4 2020 and includes an upfront payment and future success-based milestone payments. Prior to closing, Forbius’ non-TGF-beta assets will be transferred to a newly formed private company, which will be retained by Forbius’ existing shareholders.
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