BMS secures $2.5bn deal for Inhibitex

 Bristol-Myers Squibb has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire biopharmaceutical company Inhibitex, Inc. in a cash deal worth approximately $2.5 billion.

The transaction has been approved by both boards and includes Inhibitex’ lead hepatitis C virus (HCV) product, INX-189, an oral nucleotide polymerase (NS5B) inhibitor.

Lamberto Andreotti, Chief Executive Officer, Bristol-Myers Squibb, says the deal “represents an important investment in the long-term growth of the company”.

Inibitex is a clinical stage biopharma company whose primary focus is on the development of nucleotide/nucleoside analogs for the treatment of HCV.

INX-189 is currently in Phase II development and has exhibited potent antiviral activity, a high barrier to resistance and pan-genotypic coverage.

“This transaction puts INX-189 and the Company’s other infectious disease assets in the hands of an organisation that can more optimally develop them and which believes as strongly as we do in INX-189’s potential in the treatment of chronic HCV,” said Russell Plumb, President and Chief Executive Officer of Inhibitex.

“Bristol-Myers Squibb’s expertise in antiviral drug development, and its existing complementary portfolio, will assure that the potential of INX-189 is realised as part of future oral combination therapies for millions of patients in need around the world.”

BMS says it will finance the acquisition through existing cash resources.