Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has acquired Protomer Technologies, a private biotech firm, in a deal that has the potential value of more than $1 billion if commercial milestones are achieved. Lilly previously made a 14% equity investment and has now purchased the remainder of the business.
The California company developed a peptide and protein engineering platform that can sense glucose. Lilly says Protomer’s therapeutics include glucose-responsive insulins that can sense sugar levels in the blood and automatically activate as needed throughout the day.
“Lilly has long strived to make life better for people living with diabetes and we have a continued determination to provide real solutions, including innovation in insulin therapy,” said Ruth Gimeno, vice president, diabetes research and clinical investigation at Lilly. “Glucose-sensing insulin is the next frontier and has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and quality of life of people with diabetes by dramatically improving both therapeutic efficacy and safety of insulin therapy.”
Lilly says the glucose-sensing insulin program, which is based on proprietary molecular engineering, is showing significant promise.