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Lilly Partners with Hanmi for Autoimmune Disorder Drug

Eli Lilly and Company is shelling out up to $690 million for access to Hanmi Pharmaceutical’s Phase I compound HM71224, in development for autoimmune diseases.

The companies announced today that they 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.

Under the deal, Lilly will pay Hanmi $50 million upfront for the ex-Asian rights to the drug candidate. Hanmi will also be eligible for up to $640 million in potential milestone payments. Additionally, if the BTK inhibitor is successfully commercialized, Hanmi would be eligible for tiered double-digit royalty payments.

“Significant unmet medical need exists in many prevalent autoimmune diseases where individual patient needs are not adequately being met with available treatments,” said Thomas Bumol, PhD, senior vice president, biotechnology and immunology research at Lilly. “Lilly is committed to changing patient expectations in some of the world’s most debilitating disease areas, and we’re building a portfolio of potential advances in immunology through our own research and key collaborations such as Hanmi. We’re highly encouraged by the potential of HM71224 to deliver an innovative, first-in-class treatment option.”

HM71224 has demonstrated success in preclinical studies and a Phase I study in Europe. The molecule is now ready for Phase II. The companies said that they plan to test 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. “We are very pleased to be collaborating with Lilly on HM71224, and through this agreement and R&D collaborations, we are excited to drive the joint project forward with the ultimate aim to offer new medical treatment options to patients with autoimmune disorders and related conditions.”

Source: Eli Lilly and Company

Last updated: 3/19/15; 3:40pm EST

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