Second agreement between the firms gives Simcere rights to BMS-79531 in China.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and Simcere have expanded an existing drug development partnership to include co-development of BMS’ cardiovascular disease candidate, BMS-79531, a preclinical-stage small molecule inhibitor of the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) . Under terms of the deal, Simcere will receive an exclusive license to develop and market the drug in China, with BMS retaining exclusive rights in all other markets. The firms will work together to define a development plan for BMS in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease. Simcere will run and fund initial development work.

The nuts and bolts of the agreement for BMS-79531 essentially mirror those of the partners’ existing agreement, signed in November 2010, covering co-development of the anticancer candidate BMS-817378, a preclinical small molecule MET/VEGFR-2 inhibitor. Both deals are designed to expedite development of the drugs through Phase II proof-of-concept studies by exploiting Simcere’s expertise in its home country, with BMS’ global development muscle.

“Simcere was the first company with which BMS created a partnership under our Oyster Strategy to seed companies in key markets with promising investigational medicines of continued interest from our early pipeline,” remarks Francis Cuss, M.D., svp for research at BMS. “By working together we are building on the strengths of both organizations to develop potential medicines and help patients.”

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