Bristol-Myers Squibb’s New Direction




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Video title: Bristol-Myers Squibb’s New Direction
Released on: January 06, 2009. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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  • Summary
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Bristol-Myers Squibb is a company that has undergone distinct changes in the last few years. Timothy Herpin explains the thoughts behind their new, broader strategy and their aims to re-invent themselves as a biopharma company becoming more innovative and less integrated. Part of their aim is to source more partners and, since the failed acquisition attempt of ImClone, the company is cash-rich and actively looking to expand its portfolio.
Next Generation Biopharma strategy and the strategic transactions group.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to Pharmaventures business review here in Melbourne Australia. On this show I have Tim Herpin who is a director in the Strategic transaction group at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Welcome to show.
Timothy Herpin :
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
Tim , Bristol-Myers Squibb is a company that has undergone a lot of changes in the last few years and in particular it's the development of the strategic transactions group which you are a member of and that fits within this broader strategy that Bristol-Myers Squibbhas taken and could you describe that particular strategy, where the strategic transaction group fits in that within that strategy?
Timothy Herpin :
So with the arrival of our new CEO James M.Cornelius a couple of years ago BMS , embarked into a new strategy that aims to bring together the best of biotech and best of pharma into what we call the next generation bio pharma strategy and what it means for us is really moving forward as a company we want to try to focus on unmet medical need and be more innovative as a company. We also want to be less integrated so we want to rely more on partnerships to actually do our business.
Fintan Walton:
So this is a big change I mean both people when they look at Bristol-Myers Squibb look at it as a large US corporation and it's to have an aspiration to become a biotech company?
Timothy Herpin :
That's right.
Fintan Walton:
It's quite interesting.
Timothy Herpin :
So I think if you look at BMS today it's less a large pharma than a mid size pharma you know so this strategy fits well actually with the current size of the company.
Functions of strategic transactions group, its relationship with R&D activities of BMS and the first point of contact for partnerships.
Fintan Walton:
Okay so then the strategic transactions group is basically the business development, licensing but also M&A component of Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Timothy Herpin :
That's exactly correct. So about a year ago Jeremy Levin joined BMS and he is now currently head of the strategic transaction group and this is a group that has redefined partnering for Bristol-Myers Squibb. With Jeremy's arrival we have embarked on a strategy that we call the String of pearls and the idea there is to try to bring together carefully transactions that are highly strategic and put them together to create value for BMS and also to enable BMS to move into new areas.
Fintan Walton:
So Jeremy Levin as you say heads up the group, he used to be at Novartis and so within the group you are obviously in there and Graham Brazier is also a member of that group. So how does that structure work and particularly in relation to one the individuals but also where it fits within the research and development activities of Bristol-Myers Squibb?
Timothy Herpin :
So the entire strategic transaction now reports into R&D but also has a very close relationship with the CEO. The way the group is organized is basically in four buckets there is the sourcing function that is headed by Judith Hills there is an evaluation and Due diligence function that's headed by (indiscernable), there is a transaction function that's headed by Graham Brazier. There is also a technology transaction group that's headed by Peter Kramer.
Fintan Walton:
Right and so obviously all in the one group how does that actually operate because clearly with if I was a biotech company looking to do a deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb I mean who which part of that component should I approach and what's the best way in basically?
Timothy Herpin :
So the initial contact should now be through the sourcing group. So Judith Hills?
Fintan Walton:
Right.
Timothy Herpin :
Should be the first point of contact and then eventually as the opportunity moves through the rest of the group is going to get involved.
Recent deals with PDL BioPharma and Exelixis.
Fintan Walton:
Right. Now looking at the types of deals that Bristol-Myers Squibb has done recently you've got a mixture of acquisitions and licensing deals. Just going through the licensing deals that you've done you've got two that come to mind one is the one that you've got with the PDL BioPharma [PharmaDeals ID = 31087] recently but also you have got an established collaboration with Exelixis for an example. So tell us a little about those sorts of deals and why those deals were done.
Timothy Herpin :
So lets start with PDL. So PDL is probably our most recent licensing transaction. I should first backup and say that one of the concepts behind the string of pearls is the idea to bring together both licensing and M&A transactions together and we typically try to pick the transaction time based on what makes sense for the assets or for the company.
Fintan Walton:
Sure.
Timothy Herpin :
In the case of PDL we work really trying to move in more into a hematological malignancies and this was the primary driver behind the PDL deal that PDL deal which give us the access to an anti-CS1 antibody
Fintan Walton:
So that is just a straight licensing deal no interest to doing acquisitions of PDL?
Timothy Herpin :
That's right.
Fintan Walton:
And then you got this multiple collaboration with Exelixis which is another example of the type of could you go through those collaborations I think there are three different types of collaboration and...
Timothy Herpin :
That's right.
Fintan Walton:
They also got different aspects to them?
Timothy Herpin :
That's right. So Bristol-Myers Squibb has had a very long relationship with Exelixis that started as early as 2001 [PharmaDeals ID = 8430] and the first deal that we put together was really around novel targets for cancer and then this evolved into another deal that was put together in 2005 [PharmaDeals ID = 22789] around a collaboration in for cardiovascular disease and in that collaboration we are working with Exelixis to discover Modulators of LXR and then BMS is responsible for development of the compound. The third collaboration that we have is also a cancer collaboration [PharmaDeals ID = 23552] and that's a model which is more of a shared risk model where we basically provided enough fund [PharmaDeals ID = 264041]to Exelixis. They are working on several programs and BMS has an option to pick some of their compounds once they reach IND.
Reasons behind acquisition of KOSAN Biosciences.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Now we also talked little about acquisitions and recently back in may I think there was an acquisition of KOSAN Biosciences [PharmaDeals ID = 30374] recently.
Timothy Herpin :
That's right.
Fintan Walton:
What was behind that acquisition?
Timothy Herpin :
So for us KOSAN was a very strategic transaction. We were interested in both the compounds that they have, they have a phase 3 Hsp90 Inhibitor that we were very interested in. They also had a broad patent portfolio in the field of Epothiloneand BMS is one of the leading company working in Epothilone. We were really interested to get access to that patent portfolio.
Acquisition of ImClone by Lilly and the aspirations for building portfolio through evaluation of assets,acquisitions and licensings.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Now we can't ignore the fact that you've had a long relationship with ImClone [PharmaDeals ID = 30923]and recently Lilly [PharmaDeals ID = 31381] ImClone and Lilly acquired ImClonebut that hasn't stopped your CEO recently talking about further aspirations to go out there and do more acquisitions. So this is all part of the next generation biopharma strategy presumably?
Timothy Herpin :
That's very correct. you've we had a stage where we have because of the acquisition of ImClone didn't go through we have a fair amount of cash on our hands and we intend to use that to continue building our portfolio.
Fintan Walton:
So the intention then is to build that portfolio through acquisitions?
Timothy Herpin :
Again it's not the transaction will be driven by what makes sense for the assets so we are not set on doing only acquisition or only licensing. I think what we are set to do is evaluate assets if a company has multiple assets or a broad technology that's of interest then maybe it's a better candidate for an M&A, if it is just a single asset that we are trying to get and then maybe licensing makes more sense.
Moving more into biologics and the three aspects of next generation biopharma strategy.
Fintan Walton:
Right. And when Bristol-Myers Squibb talks about biotechnology and its aspiration to become a bio pharma company is that you know what's the basis of that? is that because it wants to move more into biologics and into antibodies or is it just simply interested in technologies?
Timothy Herpin :
No the idea is exactly to move more into biologics. I think actually we want to be a company that's really agnostic to the type of entity that we use at therapeutic So we are very happy to be small molecule but we want to have the ability to pick the methodology that fits the target best.
Fintan Walton:
But to achieve a you know a biotech aspiration part of that is a cultural change as well?
Timothy Herpin :
Right.
Fintan Walton:
And is that again is that has to be an integral part?
Timothy Herpin :
Yes.
Fintan Walton:
Of what Bristol-Myers Squibb has to do?
Timothy Herpin :
So that's the third aspect of the next generation biopharma. The first one is the innovative portfolio, the second one is being selectively integrated, the third one is changing the culture to have a culture of continuous improvement and to have a culture of efficacy.
Fintan Walton:
And in that plan how you know what's the time scale on that to what's the aspiration?
Timothy Herpin :
I think what we are trying to do is really turn the company around by the 2011-2012 timeframe.
Opportunities at Ausbiotech and presence of BMS in Australia.
Fintan Walton:
And clearly here Tim you are here in Australia we are both here in Melbourne. What's what are you doing here?
Timothy Herpin :
So for us the Ausbiotech meeting is a very efficient way to actually cover the Australian bio tech landscape. Australia has been traditionally a very fertile grounds for new licensing or M&A opportunities. The science is excellent. It's got many institution working on varied various areas of science and over the years its actually been the source of few good drugs and many good partnerships so I am here to try to find some of these partnerships.
Fintan Walton:
So you are talking to many biotech companies and presumably research institutes as well here?
Timothy Herpin :
That's right. So the idea is to help maintain the relationship that we have with the biotech companies here in Australia as well as the academic institutes.
Fintan Walton:
And you know one of the things that often is talked about here in Australia is making sure that the major pharma companies like BMS has a presence here is that an aspiration?
Timothy Herpin :
So we don't have someone fulltime looking for opportunities here at BMS we do rely we have a BMS office here in Australia so we do rely on the people in the BMS office to keep some of the relationship and then we really use this meeting as a very nice opportunity to maintain the relationships with the companies here.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Well Tim Herpin thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Timothy Herpin:
It was a pleasure.
Timothy Herpin
Director, Strategic Transaction Group
Timothy Herpin is currently Director, Strategic Transaction Group at Bristol-Myers Squibb. In this role, he identifies and evaluates licensing opportunities in the areas of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases. He also manages preclinical alliances. Prior to this position, Tim worked as a medicinal chemist at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Aventis and Pharmacopeia. Tim is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique in France, holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of London and an MBA in Finance from NYU Stern.
Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb , colloquially referred to as BMS , is a global biopharmaceutical corporation, formed by a 1989 merger between pharmaceutical companies Bristol-Myers Company, founded in 1887 by William McLaren Bristol and John Ripley Myers in Clinton, NY and Squibb Corporation . The company's primary R&D sites are located in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and Wallingford, Connecticut, with other sites around the US, in Ireland and in other countries worldwide. Their R&D strategy is to pursue significant areas of unmet medical need by leveraging their legacy in discovering and developing high-potency small molecules as well as their growing experience and expertise in highly targeted biologics. The Strategic Transactions Group, headed up by Jeremy Levin, supports R&D in identifying, reviewing, and developing collaborative agreements with organizations.