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Bristol Myers & Dragonfly Team Up for Immunotherapy Program

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Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY - Free Report) announced a definitive agreement with clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, Dragonfly Therapeutics, Inc., for the investigational immunotherapy program.

Per this agreement, Bristol Myers will be granted the global exclusive license to Dragonfly’s interleukin-12 (IL-12) investigational immunotherapy program, including its extended half-life cytokine, DF6002.

DF6002 is an investigational immunotherapy being evaluated in adult patients for the treatment of advanced solid tumors.

Bristol Myers will be responsible for the development and any subsequent commercialization of DF6002 and its related products worldwide, including strategic decisions, regulatory responsibilities, funding and manufacturing. In exchange, it will make an upfront payment of $475 million to Dragonfly, which is also eligible to receive performance-based development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments. Additionally, Dragonfly will receive up to 24% royalties on worldwide net sales.

We remind investors that Dragonfly obtained FDA clearance in May 2020 for its investigational new drug application to develop DF6002. In addition, Dragonfly has an ongoing phase I/II study in patients with advanced solid tumors, which began in July 2020. Bristol Myers intends to advance the research and development of DF6002 in oncology and hematology.

Bristol Myers is looking to strengthen its oncology pipeline with this deal, by adding an IL-12 Fc-fusion protein in the form of DF6002.

The company’s shares have lost 0.9% in the year so far against the industry's growth of 4.6%.

Meanwhile, earlier in the month, Bristol-Myers reported better-than-expected results for the second quarter of 2020 as blood thinner drug, Eliquis, and the addition of sales from Celgene’s drugs (acquired in November 2019) maintained momentum. Myeloma drug, Revlimid, was the top revenue generator. However, weak Opdivo sales are concerning.  The drug faces stiff competition from Merck’s (MRK - Free Report) Keytruda and Roche’s (RHHBY - Free Report) Tecentriq.

Bristol-Myers currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked company in this space is Horizon Therapeutics (HZNP - Free Report) , which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Earnings estimates for Horizon have moved up $1.06 for 2020 and 54 cents for 2021 in the past 30 days.

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