Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim revise prolific diabetes pact, firing all cylinders for blockbuster Jardiance franchise
Eli Lilly bet big to enlist Boehringer Ingelheim as an ally in establishing a diabetes kingdom back in 2011, paying €300m ($390m) to get its hands on two of the German drugmaker’s experimental compounds and more manpower for two of its own drugs. Within eight years, three of those drugs have grown up to be marketed products and the partners are revising their co-parenting terms.
Jardiance — the SGLT-2 inhibitor then dubbed BI10773 — emerged as the favorite child of the “modernized” deal. Starting from next year, it will be the only drug for which Lilly and Boehringer continue to co-develop and commercialize. Lilly will take primary responsibility for its insulin analog Basaglar, while Boehringer will lead projects related to Trajenta, its DPP-4 drug.
The amendment will alter the margin sharing structure, the companies said, though it is not expected to be “financially material.”
“As the versatility of the SGLT2 inhibitor class continues to be realised, focusing our combined expertise and investment to support this important treatment will not only result in greater value for both companies but better enable us to help more people with and without type 2 diabetes,” Carine Brouillon, Boehringer Ingelheim’s head of global therapeutic areas, said in a statement.
Jardiance, which is approved to lower blood sugar and reduce the risk of cardiovascular death for patients with type 2 diabetes, accrued €1.8 billion ($2.03 billion) in sales last year.
But Lilly and Boehringer have even bigger ambitions for the drug. As with other drugs in the SGLT-2 class such as AstraZeneca’s Farxiga and J&J’s Farxiga, Jardiance is believed to have an effect on heart failure and chronic kidney disease even in people without type 2 diabetes.
“Jardiance has a bright future, and the Alliance is absolutely committed to its success,” said Mike Mason, who is set to preside over the revised alliance as the president of Lilly Diabetes starting January 1, 2020.
This is not the first time Lilly and Boehringer have rejigged the alliance. In late 2014, they narrowed the scope of the deal from 50 countries to 17, representing what they say is 90% of the anticipated global market opportunity. For the remaining countries, each company got back rights to the molecules it brought to the pact.