Lilly brings migraine drug home with $960m acquisition

pharmafile | January 19, 2017 | News story | Sales and Marketing CoLucid Pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly 

Eli Lilly has announced it is to shell out $960 million to snatch up CoLucid Pharmaceuticals and specifically its migraine treatment lasmiditan; Lilly will be reclaiming the drug after it licensed it to CoLucid following its discovery in 2005.

“We are excited that lasmiditan will be back at Lilly, where it was originally discovered, for the conclusion of Phase 3 development and potential commercialisation,” CoLucid’s CEO Thomas P. Mathers said following the deal.

The drug could become a key element of the company’s efforts in the migraine sphere, a potentially 40 million-strong patient market in the US with very few effective rivals to contend with.

“Lasmiditan is a novel, first-in-class molecule that could represent the first significant innovation for the acute treatment of migraine in more than 20 years,” David A. Ricks, Lilly’s president and CEO said.

Lasmiditan is due to finish clinical testing this year, and if it secures regulatory approval in the US in 2018, it is thought it could exceed peak sales of $700 million.

As part of the deal, Lilly also acquires headache drug galcanezumab and pain-killer tanezumab, which is being developed in association with Pfizer.  

Matt Fellows

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