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Eli Lilly to boost immunology portfolio with $1.1bn Dermira acquisition

Published on 13/01/20 at 11:33am

Eli Lilly has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Dermira, a biopharmaceutical firm focused on the development of therapies for chronic skin conditions, for the value of $1.1 billion.

The terms of the deal value this transaction at $18.75 a share in cash. The agreement is projected to close in the first quarter of this year, subject to receipt of regulatory approvals and the tender of the majority of Dermira’s outstanding shares of common stock.

Instigating the move in order to boost its immunology portfolio, Lilly is particularly interested in the acquisition of the IL-13 antibody lebrikizumab, currently in development at Phase 3 as a treatment for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in patients over the age of 12. The therapy secured FDA Fast Track designation in December 2019.

The company also highlighted the FDA-approved Qbrexza (glycopyrrohium), a medicated cloth for the topical treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis (uncontrolled excessive underarm sweating), as a key acquisition as part of the deal.

"People suffering from moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis have significant unmet treatment needs, and we are excited about the potential that lebrikizumab has to help these patients," said Patrik Jonsson, Lilly’s Senior Vice President and President of Lilly Bio-Medicines "The acquisition of Dermira is consistent with Lilly's strategy to augment our own internal research by acquiring clinical phase assets in our core therapeutic areas and leveraging our development expertise and commercial infrastructure to bring new medicines to patients.

“This acquisition provides an opportunity to add a promising Phase 3 immunology compound for atopic dermatitis, while also adding an approved dermatology treatment for primary axillary hyperhidrosis,” he added. “We look forward to completing the acquisition and continuing Dermira's excellent work."

Tom Wiggans, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Dermira, also commented on the deal: "Since Dermira's inception, we have been focused on applying strong science to medical dermatology with the goal of finding new ways to treat some of the most common skin conditions that affect millions of people every year. We are pleased that Lilly has recognised the progress we have made and the opportunities for lebrikizumab and Qbrexza. We share with Lilly a common interest in helping patients through the development of innovative treatments and believe that patients and physicians will benefit from the resources that Lilly can bring to maximise the potential of our programmes. We also believe this proposed transaction is in the best interests of Dermira and our stockholders and affirms the dedication and important groundwork established by Dermira's talented employees since the founding of the company nearly 10 years ago." 

Matt Fellows

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