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Bristol-Myers Collaborates With Harvard Fibrosis Network

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMY - Free Report) entered into a research collaboration agreement with Harvard Fibrosis Network of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

Both companies have teamed up to discover and develop potential new therapies for fibrotic diseases, including fibrosis of the liver and heart.

Per the terms of the agreement, leading academic investigators of hepatic and cardiac fibrosis from the Harvard Fibrosis Network will collaborate with leading scientists from Bristol-Myers Squibb on four projects over three years. These projects will focus on applied fibrosis biology, identification of noninvasive biomarkers, and novel targets for potential anti-fibrotic therapies, in the areas of hepatic and cardiac fibrosis.

Bristol-Myers is building a robust pipeline of investigational candidates to address areas of high unmet need in fibrosis, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (“IPF”).

Bristol-Myers’ blockbuster drug Opdivo continues to perform well. Several label expansion applications for Opdivo are under review in the United States and Europe. Potential approval will boost the prospects of the drug further.  

 

Shares of the company have rallied 14.3% in the past year, outperforming the industry’s gain of 10.8%.

However, with generic competition looming large over the company, Bristol-Myers’ pipeline needs to deliver.  Hence, the company is looking to diversify its portfolio in the promising space like NASH.

In 2017, Bristol-Myers extended its strategic partnership with TARGET PharmaSolutions, Inc. The partnership has been extended for TARGET-NASH for a multi-year deal.

We note that both companies announced two new collaborations in November 2016 for the treatment of NASH and HCC.

Bristol-Myers already has a mid-stage candidate in the NASH space. BMS-986036, an investigational pegylated analogue of human fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21), a key regulator of metabolism, in patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH (F1-F3) achieved its primary endpoint of significant reduction in liver fat versus placebo in April. The company was entitled the rights to research, develop and commercialize BMS-986036 from Ambrx, Inc.

Other major companies with promising candidates for NASH are Intercept Pharma (ICPT - Free Report) , Gilead Sciences (GILD - Free Report) and Novartis (NVS - Free Report) .

Zacks Rank

Bristol-Myers carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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