Life Sciences team advises Sosei Heptares on its global agreement with Eli Lilly

3 minute read
21 December 2022

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Our Life Sciences team has advised long-standing client Sosei Heptares on a collaboration and license agreement with Eli Lilly to develop new treatments in diabetes and metabolic diseases.

The deal sees Sosei Heptares combine its StaR® technology and structure-based drug design platform with Lilly's extensive drug development, commercialisation and therapeutic area expertise. This will allow Sosei Heptares to focus its efforts on multiple G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) targets associated with diabetes and metabolic diseases, as nominated by Lilly. The target-selective small molecules this delivers will become candidates for further development and commercialisation.

Under the agreement, Sosei Heptares will receive an upfront payment of US$37 million on signing and is eligible to receive development and commercial milestones totalling up to US$694 million. It will also receive tiered royalties on global sales.

Gowling WLG's head of life sciences in the UK, Patrick Duxbury, led on the deal together with fellow life sciences partner Jenny Davies. They worked closely with Marcus Messenger, VP Business Development at Sosei Heptares.

Patrick Duxbury said: "Continuing our long-standing and strong relationship with Sosei Heptares, we are pleased to support them in this latest deal, advancing their work in GPCR-focused drug discovery."

"An estimated 4.9 million people have diabetes in the UK alone and it's predicted that this number will rise to 5.5 million by 2030, highlighting the growing need for more research into the condition. This collaboration will help discover new drug therapies for commercialisation and ensure they reach patients worldwide."

Sosei Heptares is an international biopharmaceutical group focused on the discovery and early development of new medicines originating from its proprietary GPCR-targeted StaR® technology and structure-based drug design platform capabilities. It focuses on developing novel medicines across multiple therapeutic areas, including neurology, immunology, gastroenterology, and inflammatory diseases.

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly is headquartered in Indianapolis in the US and employs more than 37,000 employees worldwide. Its wide-ranging clinical research is carried out in over 55 countries and it's estimated that more than 47 million people benefited from the company's medicines across the globe in 2021. In this latest deal, Eli Lilly was advised by Covington & Burling LLP.

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