BristolMyers is sued for 6.4B over delayed cancer drug

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Bristol Myers Squibb Co was sued for 6.4 billion on Thursday for allegedly delaying its Breyanzi cancer drug to avoid payments to shareholders of the former Celgene Corp, which the drugmaker bought in 2019.

According to a complaint in Manhattan federal court, Bristol Myers failed to use contractually required diligent efforts to win U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the nonHodgkin lymphoma drug by a Dec. 31, 2020, deadline.

By missing the deadline, Bristol Myers was excused from owing an additional 9 in cash to Celgene shareholders for each share they held, enabling it to acquire Celgene at an enormous discount and enjoy a windfall, the complaint said.

Bristol Myers bought Celgene for 80.3 billion in cash and stock in November 2019. It won FDA approval for Breyanzi, whose chemical name is lisocabtagene maraleucel, on Feb. 5.

The lawsuit was brought by UMB Bank NA, acting as a trustee for Celgene39;s former shareholders.

We will not be commenting on pending litigation, Bristol Myers said in a statement.

The 9 per share milestone payment had been contingent on New Yorkbased Bristol Myers winning FDA approval by specified deadlines for three drugs that Celgene had been developing.

UMB said Bristol Myers withheld or belatedly submitted critical information to the FDA for Breyanzi39;s approval, and did not prepare its manufacturing plants for required inspections.

Other cellular therapies based on similar technology have received FDA approval without the…

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