Eli Lilly expands immunology pipeline with $1.1bn Dermira buy

Credit: shutterstock.com/ Natee Meepian

Eli Lilly is expanding its immunology pipeline with the $1.1 billion acquisition of Dermira, a Californian biopharma developing novel therapies for chronic skin conditions.

The all-cash acquisition adds lebrikizumab, a novel, investigational, monoclonal antibody designed to bind IL-13 with high affinity to Lilly’s pipeline.

Lebrikizumab is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 clinical development programme for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adolescent and adult patients, ages 12 years and older. It was granted Fast Track designation from the FDA in December 2019.

The deal will also expand Lilly’s portfolio of marketed dermatology medicines with the addition of Qbrexza (glycopyrronium) cloth, a medicated cloth approved by the FDA for the topical treatment of uncontrolled excessive underarm sweating.

“The acquisition of Dermira is consistent with Lilly’s strategy to augment our own internal research by acquiring clinical phase assets in our core therapeutic areas and leveraging our development expertise and commercial infrastructure to bring new medicines to patients,” said Patrik Jonsson, Lilly Senior Vice President and President of Lilly Bio-Medicines

“This acquisition provides an opportunity to add a promising Phase 3 immunology compound for atopic dermatitis, while also adding an approved dermatology treatment for primary axillary hyperhidrosis.”

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