BMS, Avidity add another $100M to cardiovascular partnership

Avidity Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company committed to delivering a new class of RNA therapeutics called Antibody Oligonucleotide Conjugates (AOCs), today announced a global licensing and research collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of multiple cardiovascular targets with potential cumulative payments of up to $2.3 billion. AOCs are designed to combine the specificity of monoclonal antibodies with the precision of oligonucleotide therapies to target the root cause of diseases previously untreatable with RNA therapeutics. This strategic collaboration broadens the reach of AOCs through the expansion of the existing relationship with Bristol Myers Squibb. Avidity continues to advance its internal research and development programs in rare cardiac indications.

Under the terms of the agreement, Avidity will receive $100 million upfront, which includes a $60 million cash payment as well as the purchase of approximately $40 million of Avidity common stock at a purchase price of $7.88 per share. Avidity is also eligible to receive up to approximately $1.35 billion in research and development milestone payments, up to approximately $825 million in commercial milestone payments, and tiered royalties up to low double-digits on net sales. Bristol Myers Squibb will fund all future clinical development, regulatory and commercialization activities coming from this collaboration.

“We are excited to expand our collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, who are world leaders in cardiovascular drug discovery and development. This strategic collaboration solidifies our commitment in cardiology as we continue to advance our own research and development programs in cardiac indications,” said Sarah Boyce, president and chief executive officer at Avidity. “We look forward to broadening the utility of the AOC platform to address debilitating diseases previously unreachable with existing RNA therapies.”

The collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb is separate from Avidity’s internal discovery pipeline consisting of research and development candidates to treat rare skeletal muscle conditions and rare cardiac muscle diseases. Avidity is currently advancing three distinct rare disease Phase 1/2 programs in the clinic: AOC 1001 for myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), AOC 1020 for the treatment of facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) and AOC 1044 for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) mutations amenable to exon 44 skipping (DMD44).

“This collaboration with Avidity represents an important part of our continued investment in innovative therapeutic approaches that have the potential to provide transformative outcomes to patients living with serious cardiovascular conditions,” said Francisco Ramírez-Valle, MD, PhD, senior vice president and head of the Immunology & Cardiovascular Thematic Research Center at Bristol Myers Squibb. “Aligned with our focus on causal human biology and efforts to successfully match therapeutic modalities to disease mechanism, our R&D organization will continue to leverage technologies like Avidity’s AOC platform to identify meaningful targets and develop new medicines for patients in need.”

In 2021, Avidity announced a research collaboration with MyoKardia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol Myers Squibb, to demonstrate the potential utility of AOCs in cardiac tissue. This new collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb expands on the research conducted in cardiovascular disease and is a testament to the broad utility of the AOC platform technology.