Eli Lilly pays $360 mn to develop Glenmark molecule

Eli Lilly pays $360 mn to develop Glenmark molecule

Mumbai: Drug maker Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd on Tuesday said it has signed a $360 million (Rs1,416 crore) licensing pact with US pharma and biotech giant Eli Lilly & Co. for its pain management drug candidate GRC 6211.

Glenmark, which has licensed three discovery products to multinational drug giants since 2004, received an upfront payment of $45 million from Lilly by licensing out the development rights of its latest discovery product. Under the terms of the agreement, the multinational company will develop the molecule to the final stage by retaining the marketing right of the drug for the US, Europe and Japan.

“We have licensed a group of research leads for pain management along with the molecule GRC 6211, which is currently in early human trials," Glenmark managing director and CEO Glenn Saldanha said. “Although the main indication of this molecule is the management of osteoarthritis pain, there are other indications also worked out in the research programme, which is also included in the Lilly pact. Once these indications are successfully developed, we will be entitled to get an additional $90 million milestone payment from Lilly."

Although the research pipeline of two US drug giants—Pfizer Inc. and Merck & Co. Inc.—have similar line of pain management drug leads in the development, Lilly is expected to expedite the global trials for Glenmark molecule.

“The current global market for all these indications or targeted diseases with the newly licensed research programme, is estimated to be about $40 billion," Saldanha said. “For the pain management drug, we will have marketing rights for rest of the world and also a co-marketing option for the US."

Glenmark has 11 drug leads at various stages of development for treatment of diseases such as inflammation, heart ailments, metabolic disorders, and cancer. Saldanha said the company has so far received $105 million as upfront payment in the molecule licensing out deals.