Drug Development

Eli Lilly buys itself an antibody R&D platform from Tillman Gerngross’s Adimab

Tillman Gerngross

Eli Lilly has just executed on a turnkey antibody platform deal with Tillman Gerngross’s Adimab.

We don’t know the deal terms, but Lilly turned to the antibody shop in New Hampshire for the platform tech, now designated for its R&D groups in San Diego and New York. Lilly also gets an antibody library as well as a license to use the platform in any way it likes.

The two companies have been working together from the early days at Adimab, beginning in 2010.

Gerngross doesn’t tout every deal, but he set up Adimab with the idea of developing close relationships with drug developers on individual projects and then doing these turnkey deals with some of the companies with the deepest pockets. That has led to other such pacts with a who’s who in biopharma, including Merck, Novo Nordisk, Biogen and GSK. Altogether Gerngross says he’s now done seven of these deals.

Gerngross is a familiar figure in biotech. He sold GlycoFi to Merck back in 2006 for $400 million.

“Lilly has a strong foundation in protein-based therapeutics and excellent R&D capabilities. We are delighted to see our platform in the hands of such a competent team,” said Gerngross in a prepared statement. “Adimab is a technology company that does not pursue its own internal pipeline. As such, we are very invested in the success of our collaborators. We typically enter into smaller collaborations intended to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform and then broaden the relationship by either doing more funded discovery or transferring the platform for internal use.”