Bristol-Myers Squibb has signed an agreement to acquire Inhibitex, Inc. for approximately $2.5 billion in cash. Inhibitex is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing products that can treat or prevent serious infections, with the primary focus on nucleotide/nucleoside analogs for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV). Its lead HCV asset is INX-189, an oral nucleotide polymerase (NS5B) inhibitor in Phase II development that has shown potent antiviral activity.
“The acquisition of Inhibitex builds on Bristol-Myers Squibb’s long history of discovering, developing and delivering innovative new medicines in virology and enriches our portfolio of investigational medicines for hepatitis C,” said Lamberto Andreotti, chief executive officer, BMS. “There is significant unmet medical need in hepatitis C. This acquisition represents an important investment in the long-term growth of the company.”
Russell Plumb, president and chief executive officer of Inhibitex, commented, “This transaction puts INX-189 and the company’s other infectious disease assets in the hands of an organization 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. BMS’ expertise in antiviral drug development, and its existing complementary portfolio, will assure that the potential of INX-189 is realized as part of future oral combination therapies for millions of patients in need around the world.”
The companies anticipate the closing, subject to customary terms and conditions, in approximately 30 days.