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Eli Lilly inks deals with Innovent Biologics, Hanmi Pharmaceutical

Friday, March 20, 2015

Eli Lilly and Innovent Biologics, a biopharmaceutical company in China, have inked a biotech drug development collaboration to collaborate to support the development and potential commercialization of at least three cancer treatments over the next decade. The agreement creates possible new treatment options for cancer patients, while strengthening the presence of both companies in the Chinese oncology market.

Innovent will lead the development and manufacturing for the China market, while Eli Lilly will be responsible for commercialization of the three potential medicines. Innovent also has co-promotion rights.

Eli Lilly will contribute its cMet monoclonal antibody gene for possible treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

Separately, Eli Lilly will continue the development of its cMet monoclonal antibody program outside of China. Innovent will contribute its monoclonal antibody targeting protein CD-20 for investigation in hematologic malignancies. Innovent has received IND approval in China to begin phase I development of this potential therapy.

Innovent will contribute a preclinical immuno-oncology molecule for development in China. The companies have agreed that Eli Lilly will be responsible for development, manufacturing and commercialization of this molecule outside of China. Eli Lilly also will receive rights to develop and commercialize up to three preclinical bispecific immuno-oncology molecules outside of China.

Innovent will receive a total upfront payment of $56 million. Eli Lilly also could issue future payments exceeding $400 million for the preclinical immuno-oncology molecule if the product reaches certain development, regulatory and sales milestones. Sales royalties and other payments would occur on certain products if commercialized. Further financial terms have not been disclosed.

Eli Lilly and Hanmi Pharmaceutical, a Korea-based global pharmaceutical company, have entered into an exclusive license and collaboration agreement for the development and commercialization of Hanmi’s oral Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, HM71224, for the treatment of autoimmune and other diseases. The agreement is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, similar requirements outside the U.S., and other customary closing conditions. 

This small molecule is ready to enter phase II and the parties plan to investigate the molecule for the potential treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, lupus nephritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and other related conditions.

“HM71224 is a potent and effective BTK inhibitor and has successfully demonstrated proof-of-mechanism in preclinical studies and a phase I study in Europe,” said Dr. Gwan Sun Lee, CEO/president of Hanmi Pharmaceutical.

Eli Lilly will receive worldwide rights to the molecule for all indications excluding China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. Eli Lilly will take development, regulatory, manufacturing and commercial leadership for the molecule in the Eli Lilly territories. Hanmi will receive an initial payment of $50 million and is eligible for up to $640 million in potential development, regulatory, and sales milestones. If the BTK inhibitor is successfully commercialized, Hanmi would also be eligible for tiered double-digit royalty payments.

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