Source – Eli Lilly
On June 20, 2023 a formal deal for Lilly to purchase DICE was announced by Eli Lilly & Company and DICE Therapeutics. Eli Lilly has agreed to pay Dice Therapeutics and its platform for the discovery and development of oral, small molecule treatments for immunological illnesses $2.4 billion.
DICE is a biopharmaceutical firm that uses its patented DELSCAPE technology platform to create innovative oral treatment candidates, such as oral IL-17 inhibitors that are now being tested in clinical trials to treat immunology-related chronic disorders.
Dice will be acquired by the large pharma for $48 per share, a 40% premium over the biotech’s most recent closing price. The oral IL-17 inhibitor DC-806, a potential therapy for plaque psoriasis, is the primary product candidate for Dice.
Injectable IL-17 inhibitors such as Novartis’ multibillion-dollar blockbuster Cosentyx (secukinumab), Lilly’s Taltz (ixekizumab), Bausch Health/Ortho’s Siliq (brodalumab), and UCB’s Bimzelx (bimekizumab) might be replaced by DC-806 if it successfully completes the development process.
“In combination with its novel technology and expertise in drug discovery, DICE’s talented workforce and passion for innovation will enhance our efforts to make life better for people living with devastating autoimmune diseases. We welcome DICE colleagues to Lilly and, together, we can tackle the challenges ahead in finding new treatments for patients with significant unmet medical needs.”
– Patrik Jonsson, executive vice president, president of Lilly Immunology and Lilly USA, chief customer officer
“We’re eager to see our pipeline, including our oral IL-17 inhibitors, DC-806 and DC-853, benefit from Lilly’s resources and global reach and I’m excited by the prospect of watching these two talented teams in a united quest for scientific innovation. Our novel approach to discovering and advancing oral, small molecules against validated protein-protein interaction targets has even greater potential with Lilly’s industry-leading clinical development capabilities to get these medicines to patients suffering from autoimmune diseases.”
– Kevin Judice, Ph.D., CEO of DICE Therapeutics
The deal is projected to completion in the third quarter of 2023, barring any financial restrictions. These criteria include receiving the necessary antitrust approval and the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of DICE’s common stock. Any shares of DICE that are not tendered in the tender offer will be acquired by Lilly through a second-step merger at the same price as that charged in the tender offer once the tender offer has been successfully closed.
When compared to the 30-day volume-weighted average trading price of DICE’s common stock that ended on June 16, 2023, the final trading day preceding the announcement of the deal, the acquisition price payable at closure reflects a premium of over 40%.
Upon closure, Lilly will decide whether this transaction should be treated as a business combination or an asset acquisition, including any associated acquired in-process R&D costs, in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Following that, Lilly’s financial performance and financial forecasts will reflect this acquisition.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as Lilly’s legal representative. Centerview Partners LLC is serving as DICE’s only financial adviser, while Fenwick & West LLP is representing the company in legal matters.