Drug Development

Ouch: Eli Lilly is walking away from Adocia deal and its ultra-fast insulin — for the second time

A little more than two years ago, Eli Lilly admitted it had made a big mistake in dumping Adocia (Paris:ADOC) and their pact on the biotech’s ultra-fast-acting insulin formulation, Biochaperone Lispro. That original deal was completed with only $10 million for the upfront and $155 million in milestones. To get back in after promising mid-stage studies, Lilly had to pay $50 million up front and offered more than three times the original amount in milestones – plus R&D support.

Now, that second deal has fallen through. And the now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t team at Lilly is packing it in for a second time and writing off their investment.

Shares of Adocia plunged 30% on the news of the second rejection.

The big idea at Adocia was to customize Biochaperone to each protein, escaping the corrosive impact of enzyme and speeding insulin along for quick absorption. Adocia CEO Gérard Soula told BioWorld earlier that Lilly had initially opted out after the two companies failed to agree on a development strategy. There’s no explanation for Lilly’s second retreat in the biotech’s announcement, but Adocia still plans to pursue a late-stage program.

We are extremely disappointed and surprised by Lilly’s decision to terminate the collaboration on our product which has demonstrated significant improvement in terms of performance vs Humalog across 6 clinical studies. Based upon this stage of development, we are convinced that BC Lispro can improve the lives of people with diabetes and Adocia will continue to prepare launch of Phase III clinical trials while looking for a new partner,” said Soula.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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