Lilly and Innovent to bring oncology therapies to patients in China and around the world


Alliance marks one of the largest biotech drug development collaborations in China

Eli Lilly and Innovent have announced one of the largest biotech drug development collaborations in China between a multinational and a domestic company.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will collaborate to support the development and potential commercialisation of at least three cancer treatments during the next decade. The agreement creates possible new treatment options for cancer patients, while strengthening the presence of both companies in the Chinese oncology market.

As part of the agreement, Innovent will lead the development and manufacturing for the China market, whereas Lilly will be responsible for commercialising the three potential medicines. Innovent also has copromotion rights.

Lilly will contribute its cMet monoclonal antibody gene for the possible treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. Separate from this collaboration, Lilly will continue to develop its cMet monoclonal antibody programme outside China.

Innovent will contribute its monoclonal antibody targeting protein CD-20 for investigation in haematologic malignancies. Innovent has received investigational new drug approval in China to begin Phase I development of this potential therapy.

The company will also contribute a preclinical immuno-oncology molecule for development in China. The companies have agreed that Lilly will be responsible for the development, production and commercialisation of this molecule outside China.

Lilly will also receive rights to develop and commercialise up to three preclinical bispecific immuno-oncology molecules outside China.

Innovent will receive a total upfront payment of US$56m. Lilly could also issue future payments exceeding $400m for the preclinical immuno-oncology molecule if the product reaches certain development, regulatory and sales milestones. Sales royalties and other payments would occur on certain products if commercialised.

‘We are pleased to collaborate with Innovent to develop potential therapies for those fighting cancer in China and around the world,’ said Alfonso Zulueta, Senior Vice President, and President, Lilly Emerging Markets. ‘This alliance marks an important milestone in our longstanding commitment to China, and further reinforces our focus to develop collaborative networks to advance research and clinical development in emerging markets.’

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Michael Yu, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Innovent, said: ‘This groundbreaking collaboration establishes Innovent as the very first company in China to form such a broad alliance with a global pharmaceutical company, and we are honoured to collaborate with a company as esteemed as Lilly. Given our experience, significant insights into the China market and international compliance standards, we strongly believe Innovent is ideally suited to serve as Lilly's Chinese collaborator of choice.’