Novartis Exercises Option to Acquire IFM Therapeutics Subsidiary

IFM Therapeutics, a biotechnology startup focusing on immune system-targeted drugs, has announced that Novartis has exercised its option to purchase its subsidiary, IFM Due, for $90 million upfront and up to $745 million in milestone payments. This move follows a partnership formed in 2019, where Novartis funded research into IFM Due's immunotherapies targeting the cGAS/STING pathway, aiming to develop treatments for various inflammation-driven diseases. IFM's successful sale of three subsidiaries, including IFM Due, positions the company uniquely in the biotech industry, noted by financial backers like Atlas Venture.

The deal with Novartis marks the second time the Swiss drugmaker has acquired an IFM subsidiary, reflecting a fruitful collaboration model. IFM's strategic approach, including housing development programs in independent subsidiaries, has proven effective, leading to substantial returns on investments. With the latest acquisition, IFM has amassed substantial initial cash and potential future payments, highlighting its success since its inception in 2015. This acquisition underscores the value of collaborative efforts between biotech startups and established pharmaceutical companies in advancing innovative therapies.

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