Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) announced today that it acquired peptide- and protein-engineering platform developer Protomer Technologies.
Pasadena, Calif.-based Protomer Technologies develops next-generation protein therapeutics designed to identify and synthesize molecules that can sense glucose or other endogenous modulators of protein activity.
Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly said in a news release that the potential value of the transaction totals over $1 billion with the achievement of future development and commercial milestones. The company had previously led an equity investment in Protomer alongside the JDRF T1D Fund, giving Lilly 14% ownership in Protomer.
“We are excited to join Lilly, a leader in diabetes therapies, and advance our science with their support to better serve the needs of patients. This transaction validates our team’s accomplishments, and we look forward to continuing our important work together with Lilly,” Protomer CEO & founder Alborz Mahdavi said in the release. “We have been supported by JDRF since our inception and working closely with one of the leading organizations in type 1 diabetes research has been invaluable for us. The Protomer team is excited to embark on the next chapter of our work at Lilly as we focus our efforts on advancing glucose-responsive insulins and accelerating the development of these next-generation protein therapeutics.”
Protomer’s proprietary chemical biology-based platform enables the development of therapeutic peptides and proteins with tunable activity capable of being controlled through small molecules. This has led to glucose-responsive insulins that can sense sugar levels in the blood and automatically activate as needed throughout the day.
“Lilly has long strived to make life better for people living with diabetes, and we have a continued determination to provide real solutions, including innovation in insulin therapy. Glucose-sensing insulin is the next frontier and has the potential to revolutionize the treatment and quality of life of people with diabetes by dramatically improving both therapeutic efficacy and safety of insulin therapy,” Lilly VP of diabetes research & clinical investigation Ruth Gimeno said. “Protomer’s glucose-sensing insulin program, based on its proprietary molecular engineering of protein sensors (MEPS) platform, is showing significant promise, and Lilly is excited to enhance our diabetes pipeline with the company’s innovative technology.”
The acquisition makes no changes to Lilly’s 2021 non-GAAP earnings per share but will be reflected in the company’s reported results and financial guidance according to GAAP. Aquilo Partners is acting as financial advisor and Morrison & Foerster LLP as legal advisor to Protomer. Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as Lilly’s legal counsel.