Jubilant buys Lilly out of early-phase JV

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags In vitro

Jubilant buys Lilly out of early-phase JV
Jubilant Life Sciences has bought US drugmaker Eli Lilly’s stake in the early-stage development focused JV the firms set up in 2008.

According to Dow Jones Newswire​ – the India-based contract services firm took control of the JV - Vanthys Pharmaceuticals – on Wednesday in a deal that is separate to an ongoing contract between its discovery subsidiary - Jubilant Biosys – and Lilly.

Details of the split are still sketchy – and Bangalore-based Jubilant had not responded to Outsorucing-pharma.com’s request for more information.

However, according to Lilly corporate affairs director Vineet Guptua who was quoted by Dow Jones​, the “agreement between Lilly and Jubilant for Lilly to exit the joint venture is the next step in the evolution of the partnership as agreed by both companies.​”

India’s Economic Times newspaper quotes ‘people familiar with the matter’ who said termination of the partnership was part of a normal ‘strategic review.’

The paper also reported that Vanthys’ employees – who under the JV’s previous structure had focused on taking preclinical candidates though to Phase II – will be ‘absorbed’ by Jubilant Biosys.

If this is accurate the Vanthys’ team will join the 400-staff already employed at the Biosys unit – also based in Bangalore – who provide discovery informatics, chemistry and in vitro development services to a number of drug industry clients – the newest of which is Netherlands-based Norgine.

Lilly outsourcing

Lilly’s withdrawal from the JV follows just a month after unconfirmed reports that the future of its early-phase development partnership with another Indian contract services firm - Zydus Cadila – is under threat.

Neither firm has commented on the speculation – although in its report the Economic Times suggests that differences over the direction of the project, coupled with rising costs are a source of disagreement between the two firms.

The end of the Vanthys JV also comes just weeks after another of Lilly’s discovery services contractor – ShangPharma – increased capacity in order to service the US drugmaker’s contract​.

And while neither firm went into specifics ShangPharma CEO Michael Xin Hui said - when the expansion was announced in November last year - it will include in-vivo pharmacology, which is a similar area of focused to Lilly’s now defunct Vanthys JV.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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