Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (BMS) is shelling out $13.1 billion to take over Myokardia Inc. and bring aboard mavacamten, an allosteric modulator of cardiac myosin, for obstructive hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), bound for an NDA submission in the first quarter of 2021.
The price amounts to $225 per share, and Brisbane, Calif.-based Myokardia (NASDAQ:MYOK) rose accordingly, trading premarket at $220.80, up $81.20, or 58%. Boards of both firms have unanimously approved the deal.
Mavacamten’s NDA will be based on data from the trial called Explorer-HCM, which met the primary and all secondary endpoints, and showed meaningful improvements in symptoms, functional status and quality of life by reducing the obstruction of blood flow from the heart. BMS, of New York, said it expects to explore the compound’s potential in non-obstructive HCM as well, while working with other prospects in the Myokardia pipeline.
The buyout of Myokardia comes as BMS continues to integrate Summit, N.J.-based Celgene Corp., acquired for $74 billion at the start of 2019. CEO Giovanni Caforio said during a conference call with investors that BMS will “continue to look at opportunities as they come,” with a preference for “small, science-driven deals,” but willingness to make bigger transactions if the assets justify doing so. “This [Myokardia buyout] is not just the right asset – it’s also the right time,” he said, as BMS wanted to work with the company on its regulatory filing.
Mavacamten fits nicely with BMS’ existing cardiovascular franchise. The company markets oral anticoagulant Eliquis (apixaban), first approved in late 2012 to reduce the risk of stroke and systemic embolism in patients with atrial fibrillation that is not caused by a heart valve problem. Eliquis is partnered with New York-based Pfizer Inc.
Buzz already has begun about the meaning of the BMS/Myokardia deal for Cytokinetics Inc., of South San Francisco, with earlier-stage CK-274, which bears a similar mechanism of action. In January of this year, the firm kicked off the phase II experiment called Redwood in obstructive outflow disease in HCM. “All focus has been on mavacamten's phase III positive data in obstructive HCM, and [the compound] is in a phase II [trial] for non-obstructive HCM,” Wainwright analyst Joseph Pantginis noted in a report. “A follow-on asset, MYK-224 is also in a phase I for HCM, as well as two earlier stage assets for diastolic and systolic heart failure.” With Cytokinetics, the question is whether global partner Amgen Inc. “or even someone else” will choose to scoop up the company, Pantginis said. Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based Amgen “really makes the most sense to us,” he said. “We have spent a significant amount of time highlighting CK-274, and believe it is a differentiated asset, especially based on the therapeutic window, potentially reducing any drug titration issues.” Shares of Cytokinetics (NASDAQ:CYTK) were trading premarket at $27.48, up $3.49, or 14%.