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Lilly closes Avid buy

Eli Lilly has completed its acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to about $800m, the companies said

Eli Lilly has completed its acquisition of Avid Radiopharmaceuticals in a deal worth up to about $800m, the companies said. In addition, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted a priority review to Avid's lead programme in development, a molecular imaging agent for detecting the presence of amyloid plaque in the brain as a way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease.

Lilly announced its intention to buy privately held Avid last month. The company is developing a pipeline of molecular imaging compounds to detect and monitor chronic diseases.

Under the merger agreement, Lilly acquired all outstanding shares of Avid for an upfront payment of $300m, with another $500m in potential milestone payments tied to regulatory and commercial goals for florbetapir, the amyloid plaque imaging agent. 

The FDA's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet regarding the new drug application (NDA) for florbetapir on January 20. The imaging agent is intended to be used with positron emission tomography technology to detect beta-amyloid plaque deposits in living patients that currently can only be accurately identified after a patient's death.

The NDA for florbetapir includes data from a dozen trials in over 700 subjects ranging from cognitively normal individuals to people with Alzheimer's dementia, including a phase III image-to-autopsy study.

Lilly has made major investments in the Alzheimer's disease space, with several key treatments still in development in spite of the recent failure of its late-stage product candidate semagacestat. 

Avid, which will continue to operate out of its current headquarters in Philadelphia after being acquired by Indianapolis-based Lilly, also has diagnostics in phase I and phase II trials for other diseases, including Parkinson's disease and diabetes, which Lilly said it intends to support.

21st December 2010

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