China riding high on the ADC partnership wave

Bristol Myers Squibb’s potential $8.4 billion deal with SystImmune is the latest example of Western pharma getting stuck into the China antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) space.

Millie Nelson, Editor

December 13, 2023

2 Min Read
Deposit Photos

Bristol Myers Squibb’s potential $8.4 billion deal with SystImmune is the latest example of Western pharma getting stuck into the China antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) space.

The exclusive license agreement for SystImmune’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) BL-B01D1 -— a possible first-in-class epidermal growth factor receptor and human epidermal growth factor receptor 3 (EGFRxHER3) bispecific — will see the companies jointly advance and commercialize the drug in the US.

BL-B01D1 is being assessed in a global Phase I study for safety and efficacy in humans with metastatic or unresectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Bristol Myers  will make an upfront payment of $800 million to SystImmune and a total consideration of up to $8.4 billion, dependent on development, regulatory, and sales milestones. SystImmune will be responsible for advancement, commercialization, and production in mainland China, as well as manufacturing specific drug supplies for use outside of the country. Bristol Myers will oversee development and commercialization for the rest of the world.

“Our collaboration with SystImmune allows us to strengthen our leadership in oncology and is consistent with our strategy to diversify beyond immuno-oncology to transform patient care,” said Samit Hirawat, chief medical officer, drug development at Bristol Myers .

“SystImmune’s BL-B01D1 adds yet another ADC to our diverse pipeline and helps strengthen our approach of matching the most appropriate therapeutic modality to areas of unmet medical need across solid tumor oncology. We look forward to working with SystImmune to advance BL-B01D1 in hopes of offering a differentiated treatment option for patients in need.”

The deal is the latest for Bristol Myers in the ADC space, having inked a $650 million co-development deal in 2021, with Eisai. The firm also partnered with China’s LaNova Medicines for an ADC targeting gastrointestinal cancers. And in April, the company inked a deal potentially worth over $1 billion in milestone payments to develop differentiated ADCs for solid tumors with Tubilis.

China ADC deals galore in 2023  

The Bristol Myers deal is the latest example of Western pharma’s interest in Chinese ADC developers.

In April, Suzhou-based DualityBio sold two ADC assets to BioNTech for $170 million upfront. The firm also gained out-licensed global rights in October for MediLink Therapeutics’ ADC HER3.

In a $600 million deal (including $55 million upfront), Shanghai’s LaNova Medicines sold global rights for its pre-clinical ADC candidate to AstraZeneca.

In October, Hansoh Pharma sold ex-China rights for its B7-H4 ADC to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in a $1.57 billion deal ($85 million upfront), plus royalties on any sales. One month later, UK-based biotech Myricx Bio licensed rights to an antibody discovered by Shanghai-based WuXi Biologics.

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

You May Also Like