Eli Lilly and Company has signed an agreement for the acquisition of clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Versanis Bio in a $1.925bn deal.

Versanis shareholders will receive the total amount in cash, including upfront development and sales-based milestone payments. 

Established by Aditum Bio in 2021, Versanis develops new therapies for treating cardiometabolic ailments.

Its lead asset, bimagrumab, is currently being evaluated in the Phase IIb BELIEVE clinical trial both as a monotherapy and along with semaglutide in adults who are obese or overweight. 

Bimagrumab is a monoclonal antibody that attaches to activin type II A and B receptors, hindering activin and myostatin signalling. 

Eli Lilly and Company diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic research group vice-president Ruth Gimeno stated: “Lilly is committed to investigating potential new medicines to fight cardiometabolic diseases, including obesity, a chronic disease that affects over 100 million Americans. 

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“By unifying the knowledge and expertise in incretin biology at Lilly with the deep understanding of activin biology at Versanis, we aim to harness the potential benefits of such combinations for patients.”

The transaction between Lilly and Versanis is subject to customary closing conditions.

The latest development comes after Lilly agreed to acquire all outstanding shares in Sigilon Therapeutics for $309.6m.