Lilly, Evox Therapeutics, in $1.5-Bn Pact for Neurological Therapies
Eli Lilly and Company and Evox Therapeutics, an Oxford, UK-headquartered biopharmaceutical company, have entered into a research collaboration and license agreement, in a deal worth up to $1.5 billion, to develop and deliver RNA interference (RNAi) and antisense oligonucleotide drug payloads for the potential treatment of neurological disorders.
Under the deal, Evox will receive a $20-million upfront payment, research funding over three years, as well as a $10-million investment from Lilly in exchange for a convertible bond from the company. Evox will also be eligible for potential preclinical and clinical development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to approximately $1.2 billion, as well as tiered royalties up to low double digits on net sales of products arising from the collaboration.
Evox is focused on developing therapeutics made to modify exosomes, extracellular vesicles, to target the delivery of exosomes to organs of interest. Exosome-based drugs have the potential to address some of the limitations of protein, antibody, and nucleic acid-based therapies by enabling delivery to cells and tissues that are currently out of reach using other drug-delivery technologies, according to information from the company.
During this research collaboration and five-target license agreement, Evox will be responsible for exosome engineering in order to achieve brain/central-nervous-system-targeting, drug loading and analytics and some in vitro assay development, as well as material supply for initial in vivo studies. Any resulting candidate handover and technology transfer to Lilly will occur after preclinical proof of concept studies have been completed.
Earlier this year, Evox formed a licensing pact, worth up to $882 million ($44 million upfront) with Takeda focused on developing up to five novel protein-replacement and mRNA therapies, including Evox’s preclinical program in Niemann-Pick disease type C and a second new program directed at another undisclosed rare disease. As part of the deal, Takeda also has the option to select up to three additional rare-disease targets.
Source: Evox Therapeutics