Largely known for its cancer treatments, New York-based pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb has made big leaps to increase its therapeutic reach. The company manufactures drugs for a wide range of diseases and disorders, including cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is most well-known for its contributions to cancer therapies.
Recently, the company announced its acquisition of MyoKardia, a move that will make it less dependent on its oncology offerings and provide it with a larger presence in the cardiovascular industry. Bristol Myers Squibb already has a few heart drugs on the market, including Eliquis, a blood thinner.
The MyoKardia acquisition will give the company access to mavacamten, an experimental therapy currently being tested for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a condition in which thickening walls of the heart muscle can eventually impede blood’s circulation through the heart. Approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. and Europe are affected by this condition. The drug is also being looked at for uses in other conditions. While still in its trial phase, the drug is widely considered to have blockbuster potential.
A blockbuster is just what Bristol Myers Squibb is hoping for, as the acquisition cost the company $13.1 billion, or $225 per share. Only a year ago, Bristol Myers Squibb bought Celgene, which at $74 billion, made waves as the largest pharma deal in history.
“Our companies share a commitment to innovation and bold science, and our respective strengths will help us realize the value inherent in this portfolio. We have long admired MyoKardia and what they have done to revolutionize cardiovascular treatments through a precision medicine approach. We look forward to welcoming their talented team to our company,” said Giovanni Caforio, M.D., Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Bristol Myers Squibb.
There is currently a high unmet need for HCM therapies, and mavacamten has been successful in its Phase 3 trials, meeting all its endpoints, reducing symptoms, and showing an overall improved quality of life. It is expected to be submitted to the FDA for approval in the first quarter of 2021, hopefully proving to be lucrative for the company in the next few years.