Dave Ricks, Eli Lilly CEO (File photo/AP)

Eli Lil­ly teams up with KRAS drug pi­o­neer Yi Liu tar­get­ing small mol­e­cule I/O with $70M up­front

Among the ma­jor drug­mak­ers, on­col­o­gy has be­come a gold rush in re­cent years with the big dogs hoover­ing up re­search part­ners along the way. One of the pi­o­neers of KRAS drug de­vel­op­ment will now help Eli Lil­ly on its search for next-gen I/O ther­a­pies.

Lil­ly will pay $70 mil­lion in up­front cash and eq­ui­ty with an ad­di­tion­al $2 bil­lion in biobucks for a slate of im­muno-on­col­o­gy small mol­e­cule drugs from San Diego’s Kumquat Bio­sciences, a pri­vate on­col­o­gy play­er led by Ke­van Shokat acolyte and KRAS pi­o­neer Yi Liu, the part­ners said Thurs­day.

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