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Eli Lilly to acquire Protomer Technologies in a deal worth over $1bn

Protomer Technologies is a US biotech company focused on engineering glucose-responsive insulin

Eli Lilly has announced its intention to acquire Protomer Technologies in a deal worth over $1bn. Protomer is a US biotech company focused on engineering glucose-responsive insulin that can sense sugar levels in the blood and automatically activate.

Lilly has already shown interest in Protomer previously, having led an equity investment in the company alongside the JDRF T1D Fund, giving Lilly 14% ownership of the company.

Following the acquisition, Lilly will secure the remainder of the stock of Protomer beyond its initial investment.

Protomer is focused on engineering next-generation protein therapeutics that can sense molecular activators in the body.

The company’s platform enables the development of therapeutic peptides and proteins with ‘tunable activity’ that can be controlled using small molecules.

Using its proprietary platform, Protomer has advancing a portfolio of therapeutic candidates – including glucose-responsive insulin.

“Glucose-sensing insulin is the next frontier and has the potential to revolutionise the treatment and quality of life of people with diabetes by dramatically improving both therapeutic efficacy and safety of insulin therapy," said Ruth Gimeno, vice president, diabetes research and clinical investigation at Lilly.

"Protomer's glucose-sensing insulin programme, based on its proprietary molecular engineering of protein sensors (MEPS) platform, is showing significant promise and Lilly is excited to enhance our diabetes pipeline with the company's innovative technology,” she added.

This transaction validates our team's accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing our important work together with Lilly," said Alborz Mahdavi, chief executive officer and founder of Protomer.

“The Protomer team is excited to embark on the next chapter of our work at Lilly as we focus our efforts on advancing glucose-responsive insulin and accelerating the development of these next-generation protein therapeutics,” he added.

In May, Lilly agreed another $1bn-plus deal with MiNA Therapeutics, to develop therapies using its small activating RNA (saRNA) technology platform.

As part of the collaboration, MiNA is applying saRNA platform to up to five targets, chosen by Lilly, to address diseases ‘across Lilly’s therapeutic focus areas’. The specific disease targets have not been disclosed.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

14th July 2021

From: Sales

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