The acquisition will add Repotrectinib, a potential next-generation therapy for patients with ROS1-positive first-line NSCLC, and is planned to be commercially launched in 2023

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Turning Point develops repotrectinib to treat NSCLC. (Credit: Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire oncology therapeutics company Turning Point Therapeutics for a total consideration of $4.1bn.

Under the terms of the deal, BMS will purchase Turning Point for $76 per share, which is a 122.5% premium to its last closing price, reported Reuters.

The merger has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both the companies and is expected to complete in the third quarter of this year.

Turning Point is a precision oncology company with a pipeline of potential medicines that target the most common mutations related to oncogenesis.

Its lead candidate, repotrectinib, is a next-generation, potential tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) that targets the ROS1 and NTRK oncogenic drivers of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and other advanced solid tumours.

The drug has received three Breakthrough Therapy Designations and Four Fast Track designations from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with an Orphan Drug designation, in 2017.

Bristol Myers Squibb board chair and chief executive officer Giovanni Caforio said: “The acquisition of Turning Point Therapeutics further broadens our leading oncology franchise by adding a best-in-class, late-stage precision oncology asset.

“With this transaction, we are continuing our strong track record of strategic business development to further enhance our growth profile.”

Bristol Myers Squibb global drug development chief medical officer Samit Hirawat said: “With repotrectinib, we have the opportunity to change the standard of care and address a significant unmet medical need for ROS1-positive non-small cell lung cancer patients.”

In the Phase 1/2 TRIDENT-1 clinical trial, the treatment using repotrectinib showed a longer duration of response in the analysis compared to existing ROS1 agents in first-line NSCLC.

Bristol Myers aims to obtain the US FDA approval for repotrectinib in the second half of 2023 and make it a new standard of care for patients with ROS1-positive NSCLC.

In addition, the company plans to explore the potential of other promising novel compounds in the Turning Point Therapeutics’ pipeline.

Gordon Dyal & Co. is serving as an exclusive financial advisor and Kirkland & Ellis as legal counsel to Bristol Myers Squibb, while Goldman Sachs & Co serves as an exclusive financial advisor, and Cooley as legal counsel to Turning Point, on the transaction.

Turning Point Therapeutics president and chief executive officer Athena Countouriotis said: “Through this transaction, we will be able to harness the full potential of our precision oncology platform to advance the standard of care for cancer patients.

“Since our founding, we have leveraged our deep scientific expertise to develop a pipeline of promising precision oncology assets.

“With Bristol Myers Squibb’s leadership in oncology, strong commercial capabilities and manufacturing footprint, we will be able to further accelerate the pace at which we can bring our novel medicines to benefit people diagnosed with cancer around the world.”