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Bristol-Myers Inks Another Immuno-Oncology Drug Deal

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Free Report) announced that it has entered into a research collaboration and license agreement with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to discover novel therapeutic antibodies against undisclosed immuno-oncology candidates.

As per the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers will undertake the full responsibility for clinical development and commercialization of antibodies discovered through the deal. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Bristol-Myers is highly active on the deal signing/acquisition front. The company acquired Flexus Biosciences for $1.25 billion and collaborated with Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RIGL - Free Report) in a deal worth more than $339 million, all to bolster its immuno-oncology pipeline.

Apart from this, Bristol-Myers has been aggressively inking deals with health care companies including Eli Lilly (LLY - Free Report) among others to study its high-profile immuno-oncology drug, Opdivo, to be used either alone or in combination with other therapies in multiple tumor types. Opdivo is currently approved as a monotherapy in two cancer indications – the treatment of patients with metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) with progression on or after platinum-based chemotherapy and the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression following Yervoy (ipilimumab) and, if BRAF V600 mutation-positive, a BRAF inhibitor.

As licensing agreements and acquisitions in the highly lucrative immuno-oncology space continue to attract attention, we expect to see more of such deals over the coming months.

Bristol-Myers currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the health care sector are Novo Nordisk (NVO - Free Report) and Eli Lilly. Both carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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