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Lexington’s Promedior gets $150m in deal with drug giant

A Lexington life sciences company has signed a $150 million agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb that could result in an aquisition by the pharmaceutical giant.

Promedior, Inc., a company developing drugs to treat diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, will receive $150 million in exchange for giving Bristol-Myers Squibb exclusive acquisiton rights and rights to its top treatment candidate, PRM-151. Depending on whether certain milestones are hit, the deal could be worth up to $1.25 billion.

PRM-151 is meant to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a rare lung condition, and myelofibrosis, a rare bone cancer. US regulators have fast-tracked the drug’s approval process. Phase 2 trials, which generally ensure a drug is safe, will start in the coming weeks, the companies said. New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb could acquire Promedior at the conclusion of those trials.


“With the strong strategic fit between our companies, we intend to continue to move PRM-151 forward rapidly as a new treatment option to address the unmet needs of patients with myelofibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and other fibrotic diseases,” said Suzanne L. Bruhn, Promedior’s chief executive, in a news release.

Bristol-Myers Squibb said the deal would bolster its early-stage fibrosis portfolio. The company has signed a similar right-to-acquire deal with Galecto Biotech AB, which also is developing a treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Promedior’s previous backers include a number of health care venture capital groups, including Polaris Partners and Bio Med Ventures. Shire Plc, one of Lexington’s largest biotech companies, also is an investor.

Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.