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December 14, 2021updated 07 Jan 2022 5:55am

Lilly and Foghorn enter partnership to develop new cancer medicines

For the discovery programmes, Lilly will pay up to $1.3bn in payments to Foghorn on meeting development and marketing milestones.

Eli Lilly and Company’s research and development group Loxo Oncology at Lilly and Foghorn Therapeutics have entered a strategic partnership to develop new cancer therapies.

The alliance will leverage Foghorn’s Gene Traffic Control platform to develop the treatments. The platform is a tool to understand and modulate the chromatin regulatory system.

The partnership also comprises a joint development and marketing agreement for the selective BRM oncology programme of Foghorn and another undisclosed cancer target.

Furthermore, the companies will use the platform for three more discovery programmes.

According to the deal, Lilly will pay $300m upfront in cash to Foghorn, which will also receive an equity investment of $80m at $20 for each share.

Foghorn will oversee the discovery and initial research efforts for the BRM-selective programme and the undisclosed target while Lilly will handle development and marketing operations with the former taking part in operational activities and sharing expenses.

The companies will equally split revenues in the US while Foghorn is entitled to royalty payments in low double-digit to twenties range on product sales outside the US.

Foghorn will manage the discovery and initial research works for the discovery programmes and is eligible to get up to $1.3bn milestone payments on meeting development and marketing goals in the future.

The company also holds an option to take part in a portion of US economics.

Furthermore, Lilly will pay mid-single to low-double-digit tiered royalties on product sales outside the US to Foghorn on concluding dose-finding toxicity studies.

Loxo Oncology at Lilly CEO and Lilly Oncology president Jacob Van Naarden said: “Oncogenic mutations in BRG1 impact a large population of cancer patients and we believe are best addressed therapeutically with a highly selective BRM inhibitor, though designing such a drug is a difficult chemistry challenge.

“Foghorn has a differentiated platform and we look forward to the prospect of leveraging it to discover multiple new drugs against similarly challenging targets with strong biologic rationale.”

Prior to this development, Lilly and Regor Therapeutics entered an agreement to discover, develop and market new metabolic disorder treatments.

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