Lilly to Acquire Versanis to Improve Patient Outcomes in Cardiometabolic Diseases
INDIANAPOLIS and NEW YORK, July 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) and Versanis Bio today announced a definitive agreement for Lilly to acquire Versanis, a private clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new medicines for the treatment of cardiometabolic diseases.
Versanis' lead asset is bimagrumab, a monoclonal antibody that binds activin type II A and B receptors to block activin and myostatin signaling. Bimagrumab is currently being assessed in the BELIEVE Phase 2b study alone and in combination with semaglutide in adults who are overweight or obese. Combining incretins with bimagrumab has the potential to further reduce fat mass while preserving muscle mass and may lead to better outcomes for people living with obesity and obesity-related complications.
"Lilly is committed to investigating potential new medicines to fight cardiometabolic diseases, including obesity, a chronic disease that affects over 100 million Americans," said Ruth Gimeno, Ph.D., group vice president, diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic research at Lilly. "By unifying the knowledge and expertise in incretin biology at Lilly with the deep understanding of activin biology at Versanis, we aim to harness the potential benefits of such combinations for patients."
Mark Pruzanski, M.D., Versanis chairman and CEO, added: "It has been a privilege for our team to advance bimagrumab to address one of the greatest health crises of our time. As a global leader developing life-changing medicines, Lilly is ideally positioned to realize the potential of bimagrumab in combination with its incretin therapies to benefit people living with cardiometabolic diseases."
Under the terms of the agreement, Versanis shareholders could receive up to $1.925 billion in cash, inclusive of an upfront payment and subsequent payments upon achievement of certain development and sales milestones. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Lilly will determine the accounting treatment of this transaction as a business combination or an asset acquisition, including any related acquired in-process research and development charges, according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) upon closing. This transaction will thereafter be reflected in Lilly's financial results and financial guidance.
For Lilly, Kirkland & Ellis LLP is acting as legal counsel. For Versanis, Goodwin Procter LLP is acting as legal counsel, Cooley LLP is advising as to patent matters, and J.P. Morgan and Company is acting as financial advisor.
Versanis is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company bringing transformational treatments to people living with cardiometabolic disease. The company's lead asset, bimagrumab, is being advanced in the BELIEVE Phase 2b study as a novel treatment to help adults achieve and maintain both fat loss and a healthy body composition, with additional indications to follow. Versanis was founded in 2021 by Aditum Bio. For more information, please visit www.versanisbio.com.
Lilly unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We've been pioneering life-changing discoveries for nearly 150 years, and today our medicines help more than 51 million people across the globe. Harnessing the power of biotechnology, chemistry and genetic medicine, our scientists are urgently advancing new discoveries to solve some of the world's most significant health challenges, redefining diabetes care, treating obesity and curtailing its most devastating long-term effects, advancing the fight against Alzheimer's disease, providing solutions to some of the most debilitating immune system disorders, and transforming the most difficult-to-treat cancers into manageable diseases. With each step toward a healthier world, we're motivated by one thing: making life better for millions more people. That includes delivering innovative clinical trials that reflect the diversity of our world and working to ensure our medicines are accessible and affordable. To learn more, visit Lilly.com and Lilly.com/newsroom or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. C-LLY
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SOURCE Eli Lilly and Company
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