Novartis Acquires IFM Tre

The purchase provides Novartis access to a portfolio of NLRP3 antagonists targeting metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune and neurological diseases.


In August 2017, IFM sold its STING and NLRP3 agonist programs designed to enhance the innate immune response in cancer to Bristol-Myers Squibb for $300 million up front and up to $2 billion in additional milestone payments.


BMS spun off the non-oncology assets acquired in the deal as IFM Therapeutic LLC and created two subsidiaries of this company: IFM Tre and IFM Due. The former is focused on the NLRP3 antagonist portfolio and the latter on cGAS/STING antagonists for serious inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. 


Novartis, which has been developing a pipeline of anti-inflammatory drugs, recently boosted its position in the space with the acquisition of IFM Tre. The acquisition includes a portfolio of three NLRP3 antagonists, immunomodulatory agents that target the inflammasome, a key innate immune node whose pathologic chronic activation is associated with several metabolic, fibrotic, autoimmune and neurological diseases. Novartis will pay IFM an up-front fee of $310 million and up to an additional $1.265 billion in milestone payments.


The three NLRP3 antagonists acquired in the deal include FM-2427, a clinical-stage systemic NLRP3 inhibitor for an array of chronic inflammatory disorders (e.g., gout, atherosclerosis and NASH); a preclinical gut-directed molecule for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease; and a preclinical CNS-penetrant molecule to address neuroinflammation.


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