Another Day, Another $456 Million Cancer Pact for Eli Lilly

Published: Mar 23, 2015

Another Day, Another $456 Million Cancer Pact for Eli Lilly
March 20, 2015
By Alex Keown, Breaking News Staff

BEIJING – Eli Lilly and Company inked a $456 million deal with Chinese drugmaker Innovent Biologics, Inc. to develop and market three cancer treatments over the next 10 years, the companies announced Friday.

The agreement, one of the broadest collaborations with a Chinese biotech company, creates possible new treatment options for cancer patients, while strengthening the presence of both companies in the Chinese oncology market. Alfonso Zulueta, president of Eli Lilly’s emerging markets division, said the deal with Innovent “further reinforces our focus to develop collaborative networks to advance research and clinical development in emerging markets.”

Under the terms of the deal there are four major components. First, Eli Lily will contribute its cMet monoclonal antibody gene for possible treatment of non-small cell lung cancer however; continue the development of its cMet monoclonal antibody program outside of China. Innovent will contribute its monoclonal antibody targeting protein CD-20 for investigation in hematologic malignancies.

Currently Innovent has received investigational new drug approval in China to begin Phase I development for this potential therapy. Innovent will also contribute a pre-clinical immuno-oncology molecule for development in China. Lastly, Eli Lilly wil receive the rights to develop and market up to three pre-clinical bispecific immuno-oncology molecules outside of China.

Innovent will receive a $56 million upfront payment from Eli Lilly, with a possible additional $400 million in milestone payments should the drugs reach certain developmental and sales stages.

The partnership between the companies strengthens both drugmakers oncology presence in China. Eli Lilly has an established oncology pipeline that includes both small molecules and monoclonal antibodies, which are being studied to treat a wide range of cancers including breast, colorectal, liver and non-small cell lung. Innovent is the first Chinese company to form the type of collaboration the company developed with Eli Lilly, said Michael Yu, Innovent CEO.

Eli Lilly has been making inroads into the Asian market by creating partnerships with area drugmakers. In addition to the deal with Innovent, Eli Lilly also inked a $690 million deal with Korea-based Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Co., Ltd to developing Hanmi’s Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, HM71224, which is used in the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

Last month Eli Lilly pledged $1million commitment to the Ampath Oncology Institute in Kenya to hire additional staff and train healthcare professionals to screen, treat, and provide palliative care to more of the 3.5 million people who live in the region

BioSpace Temperature Poll
After Amgen Inc. said last week that it will close its South San Francisco facility acquired during its $10 billion buyout of Onyx Pharmaceuticals and will lay off 300 of Oynx’s 750 workers, BioSpace is wondering—will the number of mergers and acquisitions completed in 2014 mean a “streamlining” of biotech jobs in the Bay Area? Tell us your thoughts.

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