Lilly, Boehringer collaboration score a win with European linagliptin approval

Boehringer Ingelheim's big-dollar diabetes drug collaboration deal with Eli Lilly ($LLY) paid off this morning with the news that European regulators approved linagliptin, a DPP-4 inhibitor for type 2 diabetes.

Linagliptin is one of the lynchpin programs included in their deal, which was struck last January. The two diabetes powerhouses agreed to partner on a portfolio of diabetes drugs in mid- and late-stage development, with Lilly paying €300 million upfront and up to €625 million in milestones on linagliptin and BI10773. In exchange, Lilly is in line for $650 million in milestones on its two basal analogue insulins.

"Unlike other DPP-4 inhibitors, linagliptin is primarily excreted unmetabolized via bile and gut, meaning no dose adjustment is needed in adult patients with declining kidney or liver function." said UK Prof. Anthony Barnett, consultant physician, Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust. "This means that linagliptin is available at only one dose. This is convenient for physicians, because one dose is the right dose for all adult patients."

The deal on linagliptin, which was dubbed Tradjenta for commercial purposes, sparked a nasty legal battle between Lilly and Amylin, another diabetes partner threatened by the direct competition posed by the new drug.

- see the Boehringer release
- here's the Reuters story