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Drug Development

BMS to buy MyoKardia for access to late-stage heart disease drug

The $13 billion deal will bolster the big pharma firm’s cardiovascular disease pipeline

by Lisa M. Jarvis
October 9, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 39

 

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In a purchase designed to boost its cardiovascular disease drug portfolio, Bristol Myers Squibb will pay $13.1 billion in cash for MyoKardia. The centerpiece of the deal is mavacamten, a treatment for a chronic heart disease that could reach the market next year.

Mavacamten is an allosteric modulator of myosin, a protein in heart muscle fiber that binds to a second protein, actin, to control how the heart pumps blood. MyoKardia has been studying the compound in an inherited form of heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which in some people causes a blockage in the route that blood takes to exit the heart. People with HCM are prone to fatigue and shortness of breath and are at risk of stroke and heart failure.

In May, MyoKardia released data from a Phase 3 trial of mavacamten that enrolled 251 people with HCM. Everyone given the drug saw an increase in oxygen uptake and reported improvements in quality of life.

MyoKardia plans to use those data to ask the US Food and Drug Administration early next year to approve the drug. If it reaches the market, mavacamten will be the first drug to treat the underlying causes of HCM. Stock analysts have estimated it could reap $1.5 billion in annual sales by 2024.

BMS says the drug complements its existing cardiovascular disease portfolio, centered on the blood thinner Eliquis, which brought in over $2 billion in 2019 sales. The company plans to put its heart drug marketing heft behind mavacamten.

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