Abbisko Therapeutics and Eli Lilly and Company have signed a global partnership and exclusive licencing agreement to advance the discovery, development and marketing of new molecules, according to an announcement.

The molecules will be developed against an undisclosed target for cardiometabolic diseases that pose unmet medical needs.

Leveraging its research and development (R&D) platform, Abbisko will oversee the further discovery and development of molecules that modulate a new therapeutic target. 

Lilly will contribute to the effort by offering previous discovery data linked to the target and specific additional disease knowledge and capabilities. 

If Abbisko successfully progresses the compounds according to the decided goals, Lilly will obtain the right to further advance and market them. 

If Lilly chooses not to develop the compounds, Abbisko will hold the option to develop and market them. 

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Through the deal, both companies can fully utilise each other’s current compounds, platforms and technologies linked to the target worldwide to expand patient therapy choice.

According to the deal, Abbisko is entitled to get up to $258m in milestone payments on meeting agreed preclinical, clinical development and commercial goals from Lilly.

Furthermore, the company will receive sales-based tiered royalty payments if Lilly chooses to handle clinical development and marketing. 

If Abbisko oversees the clinical development and marketing, then Lilly is eligible to get milestone payments and sales-based tiered royalty payments.

Abbisko Therapeutics CEO Dr Yao-Chang Xu said: “During the past five years, Abbisko Therapeutics has established a world-class discovery engine with a proprietary platform that has delivered ten drug candidates including four already in clinical trials. 

“We are excited to leverage this platform to collaborate with Lilly on this truly novel R&D collaboration to develop innovative medicines against a critical drug target. 

“This collaboration could significantly expand our pipeline and strengthen our capabilities as we strive to bring novel therapies to patients and their families.”

In December last year, Eli Lilly’s R&D group Loxo Oncology at Lilly and Foghorn Therapeutics signed a strategic collaboration to develop new treatments for cancer.