Although it was cited as a key factor in Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) this morning reporting a first quarter net loss, the company says its $960 million acquisition of CoLucid Pharmaceuticals is an important step in its pain management strategy. CoLucid is is developing an oral treatment for migraines that was originally discovered by Lilly in 2005. Inside INdiana Business Reporter Kylie Veleta profiled the deal in our Life Sciences INdiana e-newsletter, calling it a "full-circle, Hoosier success story."
Lilly completed the CoLucid acquisition in March. The oral migraine treatment, known as lasmiditan, es expected to begin the second of two Phase 3 trials later this year. If that trial is successful, Lilly says it could submit for U.S. regulatory approval next year.
When Lilly scientists discovered lasmiditan in 2005, the company was not focused on pain management. At the time, however, the state’s life science initiative, BioCrossroads, was establishing itself. The organization’s first big project was the Indiana Future Fund, which it used to buy the rights to the drug. It formed CoLucid Pharmaceuticals Inc., which moved to Massachusetts after its first chief executive officer unexpectedly passed away.
In the following years, CoLucid saw successful results in clinical trials, and went public to finance those trials. Lilly Senior Vice President of Corporate Business Development Darren Carroll told Inside INdiana Business said the opportunity for the acquisition came at an ideal time, as the company emerged from a four-year period when patents expired on key Lilly products.
Lilly this morning reported a first quarter net loss of $110.8 million, compared with a profit of $440.1 million during the same period the previous year. The company also reported a revenue increase of 7 percent, beating analyst expectations, thanks to demand for products including Trulicity and Taltz.
Carroll says lasmiditan could mark a major step forward for the 36 million Americans who suffer from migraines.