Bristol-Myers Squibb is putting down a hefty sum to buy a company developing a drug for a rare cardiovascular disease.
The New York-based drugmaker said Monday that it would spend $13.1 billion to acquire Brisbane, California-based MyoKardia, or $225 per share in cash. The companies expect the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
“The acquisition of MyoKardia further strengthens our portfolio, pipeline and scientific capabilities and is expected to add a meaningful medium- and long-term growth driver,” BMS CEO Giovanni Caforio said in a statement. “We are further strengthening our outstanding cardiovascular franchise through the addition of mavacamten, a promising medicine with the potential to address a significant unmet medical need in patients with cardiovascular disease.”
MyoKardia’s lead product candidate is mavacamten, a myosin inhibitor under development for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or HCM. The company expects to file an approval application with the Food and Drug Administration for the obstructive form of the disease in the first quarter of next year. Other drugs in the pipeline include MYK-224, also for HCM, and danicamtiv, for systolic heart failure.
Data from the Phase III EXPLORER-HCM study of mavacamten were published in The Lancet in August. Based on the primary endpoint of at least a 1.5 milliliter-per-kilogram of body weight increase in peak oxygen consumption and improvement in functional class on the New York Heart Association’s scale, there was a statistically significant improvement among patients taking mavacamten versus those on placebo. The drug’s safety and tolerability profile were comparable to placebo, though one person in the placebo group died by sudden death.
In a note to investors, Cowen analyst Steve Scale wrote that the acquisition adds further strength to an already strong area for BMS, but it also adds clinical and regulatory risk at a steep price. He noted that according to BMS, it is estimated about two-thirds of HCM is obstructive, with the U.S. and European Union each having around 80,000-100,000 patients, with about 25% currently diagnosed. The remainder is non-obstructive, and mavacamten is in Phase II development in that group. On Tuesday, the investment bank downgraded MyoKardia from Outperform to Market Perform.
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