Allied-Bristol Life Sciences has snapped up intellectual property from Harvard University linked to blue evergreen hydrangea, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.

Harvard researchers have uncovered a mechanism by the which the active ingredient in the plant - called halofuginone - can activate an amino acid restriction response pathway.

This has helped identify several lead molecules with the potential to lead to effective therapies for several conditions, including chronic fibrotic and autoimmune diseases, which ABLS - a joint venture between Allied Minds and Bristol-Myers Squibb - is now tapping into.

“Our research is at the right stage for an infusion of resources and expertise to accelerate its progression,” said researcher Malcolm Whitman. “We look forward to seeing the development of lead compounds from our laboratories into novel therapeutics for the treatment of fibrotic disease, and potentially other indications.”

Further terms of the deal were not disclosed.