Lilly makes $300M deal for Philadelphia drug company

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Eli Lilly and Co. has agreed to pay $300 million to acquire the maker of an experimental imaging agent that could help identify patients with Alzheimer's disease, the companies announced Monday morning.

The closely held company, Philadelphia-based Avid Radiopharmaceuticals Inc., is developing an agent that would identify amyloid plaque in the brain. The leading theory about Alzheimer's is that amyloid proteins build up into plaques, disrupting brain functions and leading to the memory loss characteristic of the disease.

Avid's imaging agent, called florbetapir, is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials, and Lilly officials said they see the agent as a good revenue generator in its own right, as nearly every major pharmaceutical company and many academic researchers are chasing advances in the currently untreatable disease.

Lilly Ventures, the venture capital arm of Lilly, has held a stake in Avid since 2005. And since 2007, the two companies have been collaborating on clinical trials of Lilly drugs.

Indianapolis-based Lilly has an experimental drug, solanezumab, in Phase 3 trials that aims to draw amyloid proteins away from the brain by binding to it in the bloodstream.

According to the acquisition agreement, Lilly could pay as much as $500 million more to Avid shareholders if florbetapir reaches the market and achieves certain commercial goals.

Early detection is critical for any drug to have a chance of halting or reversing the impacts of the disease. That's where Avid's imaging compound could help.

A successful treatment for Alzheimer's could achieve more than $5 billion a year in sales, according to Wall Street analysts.

"The acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals aligns well with Lilly's innovation-based strategy, offers a potential near-term revenue opportunity, leverages our neuroscience expertise and will immediately bolster our diagnostics capabilities," said Lilly CEO John Lechleiter in a prepared statement.

Lilly needs new sources of revenue because beginning this month and running till 2013, it will lose U.S. patent protection on drugs that account for nearly half its annual sales.


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  1. "bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens" These are all nice things to have, but can we freaking get the hundreds of potholes all over the city fixed first?!?!?!!?!?!

  2. When a criminal with multiple prior convictions serves five days of a one year sentence and later kills a police officer with a weapon illegally in his posession, residents of Boone County need to pay a tax to drive to work... PERFECT Progressive logic.. If, on the other hand, a fund were to be set up to build more prisons and hire more guards to keep the known criminals off the streets, I'd be the first to contribute.

  3. Not a word about how much the taxpayers will be ripped off on this deal. Crime spirals out of control and the the social problems that cause it go unheeded by an administration that does not give a rats behind about the welfare of our citizens. There is no money for police or plowing snow (remember last winter) or or or or, but spend on a sports complex, and the cash flows out of the taxpayers pockets. This city is SICK

  4. Sounds like a competitor just wanted to cause a problem. I would think as long as they are not "selling" the alcohol to the residents it is no different than if I serve wine to dinner guests. With all the violent crime happening I would think they should turn their attention to real criminals. Let these older residents enjoy what pleasures they can. Then again those boozed up residents may pose a danger to society.

  5. Where did the money go from the 2007 Income tax increase for public safety that the Mayor used to stir opposition and win the election and then failed to repeal (although he promised he would when he was running for election)? Where did the money go from the water utility sale? Where did the money go from the parking meter deal? Why does the money have all these funds for TIF deals and redevelopment of Mass avenue, and subsidy for luxury high rises, parking garages in Broad Ripple, and granola chain grocery stores but can not find the money to take care of public safety. Commuters shouldn't have to pay the tax of failed leadership in Marion County by leaders that commuters have no say in electing. Taxation without representation.