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Eli Lilly and AC Immune have signed a license and collaboration agreement focussing on the R&D of tau aggregation inhibitor small molecules for the potential treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Global healthcare company, Eli Lilly, and Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company, AC Immune, have signed a license and collaboration agreement focussing on the research and development of tau aggregation inhibitor small molecules for the potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases.
In a Dec. 12, 2018 press release, the companies announced that the collaboration will combine AC Immune’s proprietary Morphomer platform technology with Lilly’s clinical development expertise and commercial capabilities within the field of central nervous system disorders. This collaborative effort will focus on ACI-3024, which is AC Immune’s lead molecule and has demonstrated tau aggregation inhibition in preclinical models.
Financial terms of the agreement include an upfront payment of CHF80 million (approximately US$81 million) being awarded to AC Immune with the addition of $50 million in exchange for a note, which is convertible to equity at a premium. The Swiss company will also then be eligible to receive CHF60 million (approximately US$60 million) in potential near-term development milestones, along with other potential milestones worth approximately CHF1.7 billion (approximately US$1.7 billion) and tiered royalty payments.
The initial Phase I development of the Morphomer tau aggregation will be taken on by AC Immune with any further clinical development to be both funded and conducted by Lilly, as per the agreement. Worldwide commercialization rights for the tau aggregation inhibitors in the area of AD will go to Lilly with AC Immune retaining certain development rights in orphan indications as well as co-development and co-promotion options in certain indications outside of AD.
“This landmark partnership with Lilly is transformational for the future of AC Immune,” said Professor Andrea Pfeifer, CEO of AC Immune, in the press release. “Lilly's substantial experience in neurology, and particularly in AD, is a major validation of our small-molecule platform for CNS therapeutics. It also demonstrates the potential of our pre-clinical assets and adds substantial value to our pipeline. We look forward to working closely with Lilly in this exciting field over the coming years.”
“Lilly is an industry leader in Alzheimer's research, with numerous ongoing scientific programs that target suspected causes of the disease, including amyloid plaques and tau tangles,” added Dr Mark Mintun, vice president of neurodegeneration and pain research at Lilly. “This agreement with AC Immune represents another opportunity to hopefully make progress against this devastating disease, and we look forward to together bringing tau aggregation inhibitors into clinical development.”
Source: Eli Lilly and Company