Eli Lilly Forges Potential $1.6 Billion Pact with Merus for Oncology Drugs
Eli Lilly has agreed to pay Dutch drugmaker Merus up to $1.6 billion to develop novel T-cell re-directing bispecific antibodies for treating various cancers.
Bispecific antibodies work by binding to a specific tumor antigen and to T-cells to help them recognize and target the cancer cells.
Merus will spearhead the early development of oncology drugs, using its proprietary drug platform, while Eli Lilly’s Loxo Oncology subsidiary will provide additional research and marketing.
Under the deal, Merus will receive an initial payment of $40 million plus an equity investment of $20 million and is eligible to receive separate milestone payments of up to $540 million per product for three drugs.