Bristol-Meyers to Cease Virology Research in R&D Overhaul

Early research in HIV and hepatitis B discontinued.

Early research in HIV and hepatitis B discontinued.

Bristol-Meyers Squibb announced Thursday that it will discontinue virology research, including early work in HIV and hepatitis B treatments, as part of an overhaul to its R&D program.

The overhaul will not impact ongoing virology development programs, including the HIV attachment inhibitor BMS-663068, the HIV maturation inhibitor BMS-955176, beclabuvir, and anti-PD-L1 compound BMS-936559. The move will also not affect the company’s currently marketed virology medications.

The company announced that approximately 100 positions in the Discovery program will be eliminated. Bristol-Meyers is expected to open a new state-of-the-art research site in Cambridge, Mass. in 2018, while continuing expansion of its R&D Discovery site in San Francisco.

The Cambridge site will focus on discovery efforts in genetically defined diseases, molecular discovery technologies, and discovery platform chemistry. The life science campus in the San Francisco Bay Area will serve as the company’s Discovery hub for breakthrough cancer immunotherapy research.

The Bristol-Myers Squibb Discovery organization will continue research work in immuno-oncology, heart failure, fibrosis, genetically defined diseases, and immunoscience.

“In addition to investments in central New Jersey, our new location in Cambridge and our expanding presence in the San Francisco Bay area positions the company and our scientists in the heart of vibrant ecosystems of world class science, innovation and business opportunities, which offer ideal environments for fostering external collaboration,” Francis Cuss, MB BChir, FRCP, executive vice president and chief scientific officer at Bristol-Myers Squibb, said in a press release. “Ultimately, our goal is to continue to accelerate the translation of scientific knowledge and insights into the next wave of potentially transformational medicines for patients with serious diseases.”