Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has announced plans to acquire a California biopharmaceutical company. The all-cash deal for Dermira Inc. (Nasdaq: DERM) is valued at approximately $1.1 billion. Lilly says the acquisition will expand its immunology pipeline, as well as its portfolio of marketed dermatology medicines.
Dermira specializes in developing new therapies for chronic skin conditions. Lilly says acquiring the company includes the addition of lebrikizumab, a drug currently being tested in a Phase 3 clinical trial that received a Fast Track designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December.
“People suffering from moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis have significant unmet treatment needs, and we are excited about the potential that lebrikizumab has to help these patients,” Patrik Jonsson, president of Lilly Bio-Medicines. “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.”
The deal also brings Dermira’s QBREXZA to its portfolio. QBREXZA is an FDA-approved medicated cloth used for the topical treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis, or uncontrolled excessive underarm sweating.
“Since Dermira’s inception, we have been focused on applying strong science to medical dermatology with the goal of finding new ways to treat some of the most common skin conditions that affect millions of people every year,” said Tom Wiggans, chairman and chief executive officer at Dermira. “We are pleased that Lilly has recognized the progress we have made and the opportunities for lebrikizumab and QBREXZA. We share with Lilly a common interest in helping patients through the development of innovative treatments and believe that patients and physicians will benefit from the resources that Lilly can bring to maximize the potential of our programs.”
The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter, pending regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
Lilly did not say whether any jobs would be affected by the deal.