Eli Lilly scoops up gene therapy specialist Prevail Therapeutics for a potential $1.04bn

pharmafile | December 16, 2020 | News story | Research and Development, Sales and Marketing Eli Lilly, Prevail, acquisition 

Eli Lilly has struck a deal to acquire Prevail Therapeutics in a transaction that could be valued at up to $1.04 billion.

With the acquisition, Lilly is looking to further establish its gene therapy credentials. Prevail’s portfolio specialises in AAV9-based gene therapies to treat neurodegenerative disorders; its lead candidates currently in development include PR001, being investigated in Parkinson’s disease with GBA1 mutations (PD-GBA) and neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD), and PR006 in frontotemporal dementia with GRN mutations (FTD-GRN.

Prevail’s preclinical pipeline also includes therapies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

“In just over three years, Prevail has advanced two first-in-class gene therapy programmes into clinical development for PD-GBA, nGD, and FTD-GRN, established two manufacturing platforms, and developed a broad pipeline with great potential to impact patients in need of disease-modifying treatment options,” explained Dr Asa Abeliovich, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Prevail. “With its global scale and resources, Lilly will be the ideal organisation to maximise the potential of our pipeline and accelerate our ability to bring these therapies to as many patients as possible.”

Lilly will make an upfront payment of $880 million to Prevail under the partnership, with a subsequent payment of $160 million to follow once regulatory approval is secured by one of the drug products covered by the deal in the US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Italy or Spain. Approval must be secured before 31 December 2024 for the full sum to be awarded.

“Gene therapy is a promising approach with the potential to deliver transformative treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Gaucher and dementia,” said Dr Mark Mintun, Vice President of Pain and Neurodegeneration Research at Lilly. “The acquisition of Prevail will bring critical technology and highly skilled teams to complement our existing expertise at Lilly, as we build a new gene therapy programme anchored by well-researched assets.”

Matt Fellows

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