Lilly makes $300M deal for Philadelphia drug company

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ