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Lilly forms hypoglycaemia drug pact

Eli Lilly has acquired worldwide commercialisation rights to a developmental hypoglycaemia therapy from Marcadia Biotech

Eli Lilly has acquired worldwide commercialisation rights to a glucagon analogue under development for severe hypoglycaemia in people with diabetes from Marcadia Biotech. Marcadia is an Indiana-based company founded five years ago to focus on developing drugs for diabetes and obesity using proprietary peptide chemistry.

The companies hope that the hypoglycaemia therapy, which is currently in preclinical development, will provide an alternative to currently marketed glucagon products, which need to be refrigerated and also must be reconstituted from a powder before they can be injected. Lilly and Marcadia aim to develop this new product as a premixed solution in a convenient single-use auto-injection "pen" device that can be stored at room temperature.

The agreement between the two companies covers the glucagon analogue MAR531 and also a stable of related back-up compounds. The deal calls for Marcadia to continue to oversee development of the product through US approval, but gives Lilly responsibility for regulatory approval in countries outside the US and for commercialisation worldwide.

MAR531 and the related compounds were discovered through Marcadia's sponsored research agreement with Indiana University, Bloomington. Financial terms of the deal with Lilly were not disclosed.

Lilly is already a leader in the diabetes space, with a portfolio that includes the type II diabetes drug Byetta (exenatide).

29th June 2010

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