Lilly’s Acquisition of Versanis Aims to Enhance Patient Outcomes in Cardiometabolic Diseases

Lilly's Acquisition of Versanis Aims to Enhance Patient Outcomes in Cardiometabolic Diseases

Source – Eli Lilly

Eli Lilly and Versanis Bio have reached a definitive agreement for Lilly to acquire Versanis, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of medicines for cardiometabolic diseases. The acquisition will bolster Lilly’s portfolio in this therapeutic area.

Versanis’ main asset is bimagrumab, a monoclonal antibody that targets activin type II A and B receptors, effectively blocking activin and myostatin signaling. Bimagrumab is currently undergoing evaluation in the BELIEVE Phase IIb study, both as a standalone treatment and in combination with semaglutide, for overweight or obese adults. The combination of incretins with bimagrumab has the potential to enhance fat reduction while preserving muscle mass, potentially leading to improved outcomes for individuals with obesity and related complications.

“Lilly is committed to investigating potential new medicines to fight cardiometabolic diseases, including obesity, a chronic disease that affects over 100 million Americans. By unifying the knowledge and expertise in incretin biology at Lilly with the deep understanding of activin biology at Versanis, we aim to harness the potential benefits of such combinations for patients.”

– Ruth Gimeno, Ph.D., group vice president, diabetes, obesity and cardiometabolic research at Lilly

“It has been a privilege for our team to advance bimagrumab to address one of the greatest health crises of our time. As a global leader developing life-changing medicines, Lilly is ideally positioned to realize the potential of bimagrumab in combination with its incretin therapies to benefit people living with cardiometabolic diseases.”

– Mark Pruzanski, M.D., Versanis chairman and CEO

According to the agreement, Versanis shareholders may receive up to $1.925 billion in cash, which includes an upfront payment and additional payments contingent upon the achievement of specific development and sales milestones. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions. Once finalized, Lilly will determine the appropriate accounting treatment for the acquisition in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which may include recognizing acquired in-process research and development charges. Lilly’s financial results and guidance will subsequently reflect the impact of this transaction.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is serving as legal counsel for Lilly, while Goodwin Procter LLP is representing Versanis in legal matters. Cooley LLP is advising on patent-related issues, and J.P. Morgan and Company is acting as the financial advisor for Versanis.

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