Lilly and Lycia Ink Collaboration and Licensing Deal Worth Up to $1.6 Billion

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Eli Lilly’s latest collaboration deal is helping the company address unmet medical needs in immunology and pain. On Wednesday, Lilly announced it made a multi-year research collaboration and licensing agreement with Lycia Therapeutics.

Lycia will be receiving a $35 million upfront payment from Lilly and is eligible for over $1.6 billion in potential milestone payments.

"We are extremely pleased to establish this strategic collaboration with Lilly, a global leader in therapeutic innovation," said Aetna Wun Trombley, Ph.D., President and CEO of Lycia. "With our differentiated LYTAC platform for targeted extracellular protein degradation, we look forward to collaborating with Lilly to advance novel therapies against challenging targets in underserved disease areas while we simultaneously advance our in-house pipeline of first-in-class LYTAC-based therapeutics."

As part of the deal, the companies aim to discover and develop novel degraders for up to five targets using Lycia’s proprietary lysosomal targeting chimera (LYTAC) platform. Lilly will take the candidates through preclinical and clinical development and receive an exclusive worldwide license to commercialize potential medicines stemming from the deal.

"This collaboration with Lycia furthers Lilly's strategy to utilize innovative new technology to treat challenging disease areas, such as immunology and pain," said Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of immunology at Lilly. "We believe Lycia's technology may allow us to develop targeted therapeutics that were not previously feasible and make advances for patients in areas of high unmet need.”

The collaboration deal comes just over a week after Eli Lilly announced the split of the company’s Bio-Medicines unit. The unit is being split into two new business units, one which will focus on neuroscience and the other on immunology.

The two new units resulting in the split, effective September 5, will be Lilly Neuroscience and Lilly Immunology. Anne White, currently serving as senior vice president and president of Lilly Oncology, will lead Lilly Neuroscience while Jacob Van Naarden, currently chief executive officer of Loxo Oncology at Lilly, will serve as senior vice president and CEO of Loxo Oncology at Lilly and president of Lilly Oncology.

"As we prepare for an exciting period of growth and the potential launch of new breakthrough medicines over the next few years, these leadership and organizational changes will allow us to realize the many opportunities we have to improve the lives of people around the world," said David A. Ricks, Lilly's chairman and CEO, at the time of the announcement.

The new business units and leadership will allow the company to increase introducing breakthrough medications for patients with unmet needs.

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