Eli Lilly is bolstering its autoimmune offerings with a new co-development and commercialization agreement.
The deal will focus on a promising drug called NKTR-358, developed by Nektar Therapeutics. It’s being designed to target the interleukin (IL-2) receptor complex in the body in an effort to stimulate the proliferation of regulatory T-cells. Activating these cells could bring the immune system back into balance.
As part of this agreement, Nektar will receive an initial payment of $150 million from Eli Lilly with the potential to receive an estimated $250 million if the drug achieves certain development and regulatory milestones, according to the announcement.
Investigators achieved the first human dose of NKTR-358 as part of a Phase I clinical trial in March 2017 with the goal of measuring observed changes and functional activity of regulatory T cells in approximately 50 healthy patients.
Both companies will co-develop NKTR-358 with Nektar being responsible for completing Phase 1 clinical development, but then the costs will shift for Phase 2 in which Lilly will handle 75 percent and Nektar the remaining 25 percent.
Furthermore, Nektar will be able to receive double-digit royalties that increase based on its Phase III investment and product sales with Lilly handling all costs of global commercialization.
“We are very pleased to enter into this collaboration with Lilly as they have strong expertise in immunology and a successful track record in bringing novel therapies to market,” said Nektar’s President and CEO Howard W. Robin, in a statement. Importantly, this agreement enables the broad development of NKTR-358 in multiple autoimmune conditions in order to achieve its full potential as a first-in-class resolution therapeutic.”
Proving this drug’s mechanism of action is viable could ultimately yield a multi-purpose therapy that could work for autoimmune conditions like lupus and psoriasis.
Filed Under: Drug Discovery