Lilly, Merus in $1.6-Bn Pact for Oncology-Based Bispecific Antibodies

By Miranda Greenberg -

January 21, 2021

Loxo Oncology at Lilly, a research and development group of Eli Lilly and Company, and Merus, a Utrecht, The Netherlands-based clinical-stage oncology company developing multi-specific antibodies, have announced a research collaboration and exclusive license agreement to research and develop up to three CD3-engaging T-cell re-directing bispecific antibody therapies, in a deal worth up to $1.68 billion ($40 million upfront, $20 million for a Lilly equity stake in Merus, and $1.62 billion in potential milestone payments).

Under the agreement, Merus will lead discovery and early-stage research activities while Loxo Oncology at Lilly will be responsible for additional research, development, and commercialization activities. Merus will receive an upfront cash payment of $40 million, as well as an equity investment by Lilly of $20 million in Merus common shares. Merus is also eligible to receive up to $540 million in potential development and commercialization milestones per product, for a total of up to approximately $1.6 billion for three products, as well as tiered royalties ranging from the mid-single to low-double digits on product sales should Lilly successfully commercialize a therapy from the collaboration.

This transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Loxo Oncology at Lilly was created in December 2019, combining the Lilly Research Laboratories oncology organization and Loxo Oncology, which was acquired by Lilly in early 2019.

Source: Eli Lilly and Company