Novartis has acquired CoStim Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based, privately held biotechnology company focused on harnessing the immune system to eliminate immune-blocking signals from cancer. The move is intended to broaden Novartis' cancer immunotherapy research program. Novartis will add late discovery stage immunotherapy programs directed to several targets, including PD-1. Financial terms are not disclosed.
"Therapy for many types of cancers are expected to increasingly rely upon rational combinations of agents," said Dr. Mark Fishman, President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. "Immunotherapy agents provide additional arrows in our quiver for such combinations. They complement our extensive portfolio of drugs that hit genetically-defined cancer-causing pathways, and also may be relevant to expansion of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) therapies."