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Lilly to pay $400M to repurchase Cymbalta rights

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Eli Lilly and Co. will repurchase rights to develop and market antidepressant Cymbalta outside the U.S. and Japan from European partner Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH for an initial payment of $400 million.

Indianapolis-based Lilly, which owns the U.S. rights to the medicine, also will pay the closely held German drugmaker a royalty on Cymbalta sales through the end of 2012, the company said Monday in a statement. In Japan, Lilly shares marketing and development rights with Shionogi & Co.

Cymbalta sales gained 13 percent to $803.2 million in the first quarter, with 81 percent of the revenue coming from the United States, Lilly said Monday. Sales outside the U.S. rose 36 percent in the quarter.

The drug loses patent protection in 2013, and Lilly is seeking U.S. approval to sell it as a treatment for chronic pain.

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