Tuesday, March 09, 2021
Eli Lilly and Company and Biolojic Design Ltd. ("Biolojic"), a biotechnology company that computationally designs functional antibodies, today announced a research collaboration and license agreement that will leverage Biolojic's AI-based multibody platform to discover and develop a potential novel antibody-based therapy for the treatment of diabetes.
A multi-specific antibody, or multibody, is a human antibody that is computationally engineered to bind two or more targets at each of its arms. Fine tuning the affinity and respective competition of the two targets can produce therapies with differential activities, which vary depending on tissue localization and metabolic parameters. The specific targets to be studied in the collaboration were not disclosed.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will pay research fees associated with the collaboration and additionally, Biolojic is eligible to receive up to a total of $121 million, consisting of potential development and commercialization milestones and a promissory note that may be convertible into Biolojic equity at a future date. Biolojic is also eligible to receive tiered royalties in the low- to mid-single digits on product sales should Lilly successfully commercialize a therapy from the collaboration.
"Lilly continues to seek out novel methods for developing new medicines, and Biolojic's multi-specific antibody platform is a promising approach," said Ruth Gimeno, Ph.D., vice president of diabetes and metabolic research at Lilly. "We look forward to working closely with the scientific team at Biolojic and leveraging their expertise to discover and develop a potential antibody-based therapy for people with diabetes."
"Our AI-based platform designs single and multi-specific antibodies, or multibodies, that we believe can precisely target predefined epitopes to potentially execute novel biological programs not previously possible with conventional antibodies," said Yanay Ofran, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Biolojic. "Although our internal pipeline is focused on computationally designed antibodies for use in oncology and autoimmune disease, we are excited to partner with Lilly and apply our platform to design potential therapies for diabetes. Our research with Lilly is another example of how our platform could allow reimagining of therapeutic approaches that have not been possible before."
This transaction will be reflected in Lilly's reported results and financial guidance according to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). There will be no change to Lilly's 2021 non-GAAP earnings per share guidance as a result of this transaction.