Lilly To Acquire Disarm Therapeutics in $1.36-Bn Deal

By Miranda Greenberg -

October 22, 2020

Eli Lilly and Company has agreed to acquire Disarm Therapeutics, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company, in a $1.36-billion deal ($135 million upfront and $1.225 billion in milestones).

Disarm Therapeutics is a start-up company founded by two scientists from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri and is focused on developing disease-modifying therapeutics for patients with axonal degeneration. Axonal degeneration is a common pathology in a range of neurological diseases that causes sensory, motor, and cognitive symptoms. Disarm is developing SARM1 inhibitors, now in preclinical development, to treat peripheral neuropathy and other neurological diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis. Disarm's scientific founders, Dr. Jeffrey Milbrandt and Dr. Aaron DiAntonio of the Washington University School of Medicine, discovered that the SARM1 protein is a central driver of axonal degeneration. Disarm's SARM1 inhibitors are designed to directly prevent the loss of axons, the part of a nerve cell along in which impulses are conducted from the cell body to other cells.

Disarm was founded by Atlas Venture, Drs. Milbrandt and DiAntonio of the Washington University School of Medicine, and Atlas Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Dr. Rajesh Devraj and Dr. Raul Krauss. Lightstone Ventures and AbbVie Ventures co-invested with Atlas to support the foundational work at Disarm.

Under the agreement, Lilly will acquire Disarm for an upfront payment of $135 million. Disarm equity holders may be eligible for up to $1.225 billion in additional future payments for potential development, regulatory, and commercial milestones should Lilly successfully develop and commercialize new medicines resulting from the acquisition.

Source: Eli Lilly and Company