Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) acquired exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture, develop, and commercialize Japan-based Oncolys BioPharma’s festinavir, a once-a-day, orally available nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) in Phase II development for HIV. Festinavir was licensed to Oncolys in 2006 from Yale University.
Oncolys may receive up to $286 million including up-front, development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments. Oncolys is also eligible to receive tiered royalties on the worldwide product sales.
According to BMS, the profile of festinavir offers the possibility of improvement in the safety of long-term HIV treatment. “For many years I have been working for the development of medicines in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and I’m convinced that festinavir has the possibility to be a potent and effective NRTI with a promising resistance profile. Also festinavir’s once-daily dosage is essential for treating HIV patients worldwide,” added Yasuo Urata, president and CEO of Oncolys BioPharma.