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Bristol-Myers, Eisai in up to $3.1 billion deal to develop cancer drug candidate

Reuters logo Reuters 17/6/2021
text, whiteboard: FILE PHOTO: A sign stands outside a Bristol Myers Squibb facility in Cambridge © Reuters/BRIAN SNYDER FILE PHOTO: A sign stands outside a Bristol Myers Squibb facility in Cambridge

(Reuters) -Bristol-Myers Squibb Co and Eisai Co said on Thursday they had entered into an agreement worth up to $3.10 billion to jointly develop and market an experimental cancer drug.

Bristol-Myers would pay $650 million, including for research and development expenses to Eisai, which will also be eligible for up to $2.45 billion in milestone payments, the companies said.

They would jointly develop and market the drug, MORAb-202, in Asia, Europe, the United States and Canada.

Bristol-Myers in May entered into a $1.56 billion deal with Agenus Inc to exclusively develop and market its experimental drug for immuno-oncology treatments, including non-small-cell lung cancer.

logo: The logo of Eisai Co Ltd is displayed at the company headquarters in Tokyo © Reuters/ISSEI KATO The logo of Eisai Co Ltd is displayed at the company headquarters in Tokyo

The drugmaker has been betting on sales of its Opdivo drug to treat such cancers, in a market currently dominated by Merck & Co's rival treatment, Keytruda.

Eisai's drug, MORAb-202, is being developed for the treatment of solid tumors, including ovarian, lung and breast cancers and is in the early stage of development.

Bristol-Myers will pay Eisai a royalty on sales outside of the collaboration territories, the companies said.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar;Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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