Lilly’s I&I Play, ADC Investment and GLP-1 Momentum Persists

Eli Lilly becomes the latest to make a major investment in immunology and inflammation, while antibody-drug conjugate biopharma Myricx Bio nets a large Series A round and new research highlights the potential and possible risks of GLP-1s.

After securing approval last week for Alzheimer’s drug Kisunla, Eli Lilly was back in the news Monday with the $3.2 billion acquisition of immunology biotech Morphic Holding. This represents another deal in the lucrative immunology and inflammation (I&I) space, which saw $12.3 billion in M&A activity last year, with analysts predicting this momentum would carry over into 2024.

Investment continues to pour into another hot therapeutic space: antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). British biopharma company Myricx Bio netted a £90 million ($115.5 million) Series A round to expand its ADC platform and advance its pipeline into the clinic. Several other pharmaceutical companies are looking to capitalize on the potential of the ADC market—which is estimated to reach nearly $30 billion by 2028—including Johnson & Johnson, Genmab and Ipsen, who have all struck M&A deals in the space this year. Still others, including Sutro Biopharma and Mersana Therapeutics, are hoping to supercharge their potential via the immune system with immunostimulatory ADCs.

And GLP-1s continue to make headlines, with one study linking semaglutide to an optic nerve condition that can cause sudden vision loss, and another showing the drug class could significantly lower the risk of 10 obesity-related cancers in diabetes patients. Novo Nordisk’s Wegovy has successfully expanded into China, where its patent will expire in less than two years, paving the way for biosimilar competition, and Lilly’s Mounjaro elicited greater weight loss than Novo’s Ozempic in a new observational study.

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Greg Slabodkin is the News Editor at BioSpace. You can reach him at  greg.slabodkin@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Heather McKenzie is a senior editor at BioSpace. You can reach her at heather.mckenzie@biospace.com. Also follow her on LinkedIn.
Tyler Patchen is a staff writer at BioSpace. You can reach him at tyler.patchen@biospace.com. Follow him on LinkedIn.
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