Lilly, Boehringer team on diabetes venture

Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim have teamed on research and commercialization of four drugs--two from Lilly and two from Boehringer--for the treatment of diabetes. And the developers could expand their pact to include work on an anti-TGF-beta monoclonal antibody.

The deal covers Boehringer two oral diabetes agents--linagliptin (under regulatory review in the U.S., Europe and Japan) and BI10773 (Phase II). BI10773 represents a new class of diabetes drugs called SGLT-2 inhibitors that block tubular reabsorption of glucose in the kidney. Lilly brings two basal insulin analogues to the table: LY2605541 and LY2963016. Both drugs have completed mid-stage trials and are expected to begin Phase III testing this year. Finally, agreement includes an option for Boehringer to collaborate on another Lilly diabetes molecule, an anti-TGF-beta monoclonal antibody, which is currently in Phase II of clinical testing for diabetes with chronic kidney disease.

Lilly will make a $387 million one-time payment for Boehringer, and Boehringer could receive up to $808 million more in milestones for linagliptin and BI10773. Lilly, for its part, will be eligible to receive up to a total of $650 million in success-based regulatory milestones on its two basal analogue insulins. And if Boehringer chooses to collaborate on Lilly's mAb, Lilly could see an additional $525 million in milestone payments.

"For Lilly, this alliance expands our range of offerings for people with diabetes, strengthens our diabetes care capabilities and offers the prospect of near-term revenue opportunities as we address the upcoming loss of patent exclusivity for several of our products," observed Lilly CEO  John Lechleiter in a statement. Added Boehringer chairman Prof. Andreas Barner, "This cooperation will give Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly the combined benefits of Lilly's expertise in the diabetes market and two basal insulin analogues as well as Boehringer Ingelheim's rich and innovative late-stage pipeline."

- here's the Lilly release for more

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