12:00 AM
 | 
Aug 01, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Strategy

Therapeutically adjacent

BMS acquires Amira to harvest two programs adjacent to core disease areas

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s acquisition of Amira Pharmaceuticals Inc. appears at first blush to net a single compound that has completed Phase I testing in a completely new disease area for the pharma, along with some preclinical assets. But what BMS sees are two programs around relatively new pathways with potential to treat sequelae of diseases in the pharma's core therapeutic areas.

BMS is paying $325 million up front plus up to $150 million in milestones for programs focused on lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptors and autotaxin (ENPP2; ATX).

LPA is an anionic bioactive lipid that acts through at least six GPCRs to mediate cell proliferation, platelet aggregation, smooth muscle contraction, inhibition of neuroblastoma cell differentiation, chemotaxis and tumor cell invasion. LPA also elicits angiogenesis.

Amira began synthesizing inhibitors of LPA receptor 1 (LPAR1; EDG2; LPA1) in 2008 after researchers at Harvard Medical School linked LPA1 to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis...

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