Eli Lilly and Co. announced Wednesday it has completed the acquisition of Alnara Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held company
developing an enzyme-replacement therapy for disorders of the pancreas.
Lilly acquired all outstanding shares of Massachusetts-based Alnara for an upfront payment of $180 million. Alnara stockholders also will be eligible for up to $200 million in additional payments contingent upon potential future regulatory and commercial milestones.
The transaction, which was first announced on July 2, received the approval of Alnara stockholders.
Alnara’s lead product in development is an oral drug called liprotamase, which has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for market approval.
Liprotamase has shown in clinical trials that it can reverse a nutritional deficiency patients experience with specific pancreatic disorders that can be caused by cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis and pancreatectomy.
Lilly must come up with new drugs in order to make up for coming losses to its product pipeline. Its $5 billion-a-year drug Zyprexa begins to face generic competition in October 2011. Five years from now, five of Lilly’s bestselling drugs will have had their revenue sapped by generics, likely draining Lilly of more than $10 billion a year.
In 2009, Lilly had total revenue of $21.8 billion.
Lilly hopes that Alnara’s drug gains more acceptance among patients because it does not require them to take as many pills as existing treatments. Liprotamase is also not derived from pigs, as some current treatments are.