Lilly Partners on Autoimmune, Inflammatory Treatment
Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has entered into a global exclusive license agreement with Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) to co-develop and commercialize a therapy that may be a new approach to treating various autoimmune, inflammatory, and neurodegenerative disorders.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lilly will pay an upfront cash payment to Rigel of $125 million. The San Francisco-based pharmaceutical company may also be eligible to receive up to $835 million in potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments, as well as tiered royalties.
The companies say Rigel’s R552 is a receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 inhibitor. Rigel says in pre-clinical studies, R552 demonstrated the prevention of joint and skin inflammation and tissue damage.
“At Lilly, our immunology strategy is focused on the pursuit of novel targets that have the potential to develop into best-in-class medicines for patients with autoimmune conditions,” said Ajay Nirula, M.D., Ph.D., vice president of immunology at Lilly. “RIPK1 inhibitors are a promising approach, and R552 is an exciting addition to our immunology pipeline. We look forward to working with Rigel to advance its clinical development.”
This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.