Inside INdiana Business

Lilly to acquire Massachusetts company

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is planning to acquire a biotechnology company headquartered in Massachusetts. The deal for Disarm Therapeutics, which is developing disease-modifying therapeutics for patients with axonal degeneration, is valued at $135 million.

Axonal degeneration is a condition found in neurological diseases that causes severe sensory, motor and cognitive symptoms. Lilly says Disarm Therapeutics has discovered what are known as SARM1 inhibitors, which are being developed with the goal of creating treatments for patients’ neurological diseases such as ALS and multiple sclerosis.

“Lilly continues to seek medicines to treat the debilitating pain and loss of function associated with nerve damage,” said Dr. Mark Mintun, vice president of pain and neurodegeneration research at Lilly. “The scientific team at Disarm discovered an important and highly promising approach to combat axonal degeneration. We will move quickly to develop their SARM1 inhibitors into potential medicines for peripheral neuropathy and neurological diseases, such as ALS and multiple sclerosis.”

In addition to the upfront $135 million payment as part of the acquisition, Lilly says Disarm equity holders may be eligible for up to $1.2 billion in additional future payments for “potential development, regulatory and commercial milestones should Lilly successfully develop and commercialize new medicines resulting from the acquisition.”

“Disarm’s innovative approach to treating axonal degeneration holds tremendous promise for addressing a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, and we have made significant strides toward enabling potentially transformative therapies,” said Dr. Alvin Shih, chief executive officer of Disarm. “Lilly is ideally suited to advance this exciting new approach to treating axonal degeneration, and we look forward to seeing patients benefit from the work that Disarm initiated.” 

Lilly did not provide a time frame for the closing of the acquisition.

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