Josh Bilenker, Eli Lilly cancer chief (JPM 2020)

Eli Lil­ly is bet­ting $1B-plus that it can make yet an­oth­er PD-1 drug a hit in the US. How about a deep dis­count this time?

Eli Lil­ly is im­port­ing an an­ti-PD-1 ther­a­py from Chi­na with plans for a quick march to the FDA. And the phar­ma gi­ant is will­ing to spend more than a bil­lion dol­lars to make the part­ner­ship work with its long­time part­ner in Asia.

But with 6 sim­i­lar check­points al­ready on the mar­ket, are we get­ting any clos­er to a deep dis­count on the price?

Lil­ly an­nounced this morn­ing that it is pay­ing $200 mil­lion up­front to gain US and ex-Chi­na rights to Tyvyt, the check­point it de­vel­oped with In­novent for the Chi­nese mar­ket. An­oth­er $825 mil­lion has been re­served for mile­stone pay­ments to cov­er de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing for the drug, which is al­ready ap­proved in Chi­na. And it’s head­ed to the FDA in search of the 7th PD-(L)1 ap­proval in the US, with a promise of roy­al­ties to come.

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Life Sciences Senior Associate

General Catalyst

San Francisco, CA, USA