Lilly inks $450m oncology drug development collaboration in China

By Zachary Brennan

- Last updated on GMT

Lilly inks $450m oncology drug development collaboration in China

Related tags Pharmacology Pharmaceutical industry Cancer Eli lilly

Eli Lilly and China biotech Innovent Biologics will collaborate to develop at least three cancer treatments over the next decade. 

Under the terms of the agreement, Innovent will receive an upfront payment of $56m, in addition to future payments exceeding $400m for a pre-clinical 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 were not disclosed.

Innovent will lead the development and manufacturing for the China market, while Lilly will be responsible for commercialization of the three potential medicines. Founded in 2011 as a mAb (monoclonal antibody) developer, Innovent also has co-promotion rights in the Lilly deal. 

Lilly spokeswoman Lauren Zierke told that Lilly remains focused on China, particularly with "implementing our growth plans, which include building a new insulin cartridge-filling plant in Suzhou and expanding local manufacturing capabilities in collaboration with Novast Laboratories​."

The deal comes as China’s pharma market is expected to see double-digit growth through 2018, according to IMS Health.

Molecules in Development

Lilly will contribute its cMet monoclonal antibody gene for possible treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, though Lilly will still continue the development of this program outside of China.

Innovent will contribute its monoclonal antibody targeting protein CD-20 for investigation in hematologic malignancies, and previously received investigational new drug approval in China to begin Phase I development of this potential therapy.

Innovent will also provide a pre-clinical immuno-oncology molecule for development in China, for which Lilly will be responsible for the development, manufacturing and commercialization of outside of China.

Lilly will also receive rights to develop and commercialize up to three pre-clinical bispecific immuno-oncology molecules outside of China.

Alfonso Zulueta, senior vice president, and president, Lilly Emerging Markets, said: "This alliance marks an important milestone in our longstanding commitment to China, and further reinforces our focus to develop collaborative networks to advance research and clinical development in emerging markets​."

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