Aslan and Bristol-Myers Squibb Enter Cancer Partnership

Bristol-Myers Squibb has signed an innovative strategic partnership with Aslan Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Singapore, which will see Aslan help develop one of the US major’s investigational cancer compounds.

The drug in question, BMS-777607, is a small molecule inhibitor of the MET receptor tyrosine kinase for the treatment of solid tumours.

Under the terms of the agreement, Aslan will receive exclusive rights to develop and commercialise BMS-777607 in China, Australia, Korea, Taiwan and other selected Asian countries, while Bristol-Myers Squibb retains exclusive rights in the rest of the world.

Aslan, which is privately-held, will run and fund development of BMS-777607 under a pre-agreed development programme that will initially target gastric and lung cancers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Dr. Carl Firth, CEO of Aslan commented that “this ground-breaking partnership demonstrates how a leading Asian drug development company can work together with a global biopharmaceutical company to accelerate drug development and conduct early clinical studies in Asia in areas of significant unmet need.”

Francis Cuss, head of research at B-MS, said that the firm “seeks to seed companies in key markets with promising investigational medicines”. It is part of the company’s ‘oyster strategy’, he added, which sees partners “produce high-quality data that may be used to further develop and commercialise the medicine worldwide”.

The firms said that “this creative approach will accelerate the delivery of clinical proof-of-concept by leveraging the complementary strengths of an Asia-based drug development company and a global biopharmaceutical company”.


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