Eli Lil­ly is mak­ing a $1.8B leap in­to the mR­NA field, tar­get­ing next-gen can­cer vac­cines

Eli Lil­ly is div­ing in­to the mes­sen­ger RNA are­na, sign­ing off on a heav­i­ly back-end­ed $1.8 bil­lion deal with Ger­many’s Cure­Vac to de­vel­op up to 5 new-wave can­cer vac­cines.

Cure­Vac is get­ting $100 mil­lion in cash to kick off the col­lab­o­ra­tion, split be­tween an up­front pay­ment and eq­ui­ty stake. Then there’s a pack­age of $1.7 bil­lion in mile­stones on the ta­ble.

In turn Cure­Vac will be tasked with de­sign­ing a slate of new can­cer vac­cines that us­es mR­NA tech to in­struct the hu­man im­mune sys­tem to tar­get a spe­cif­ic set of neoanti­gens. While past can­cer vac­cines have gen­er­al­ly proven to be in­ef­fec­tive though safe, a num­ber of de­vel­op­ers have been hunt­ing down spe­cif­ic pa­tient anti­gens that can be lever­aged for much more pre­cise tar­get­ing — with a greater like­li­hood of suc­cess.

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