Lilly, Zydus Cadila ink $300M deal for CV drug development

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Zydus Cadila, a pharmaceutical company in Ahmedabad, India, has signed a new drug discovery and development agreement with Eli Lilly focused in the area of cardiovascular research, which could result in potential milestone payments of up to $300 million.

The collaborative research program may continue for a span of up to six years.

Zydus said it will work to discover and develop potential molecules against a new target, primarily in the area of cardiovascular research. Zydus will initiate the drug discovery, lead identification and optimization, and conduct preclinical studies and clinical trials up to Phase II Human Proof-of-Concept. Lilly will provide chemical starting points as well as feedback regarding toxicology, ADME, chemistry, biology, clinical and regulatory aspects needed to potentially increase the probability of the program's success.

As part of the agreement, the Indianapolis-based Lilly will have an option to license any resulting molecules at different stages. Zydus would receive potential milestone payments of up to $300 million and royalties on sales upon the launch of any compounds derived from the research program.

The Zydus Research Centre has a team of over 350 research professionals. The center is engaged in new drug discovery, novel biologics and NDDS research. Zydus said it has a research pipeline of six NMEs in various stages of clinical trials of which, five NMEs are targeted at cardiometabolic disorders. The NME - ZYH1, for treating dyslipidemia has completed Phase II clinical trials successfully. ZYH2, an agent for treating diabetes is undergoing Phase I trials. ZYI1, the anti-inflammatory and pain management compound is currently in Phase II clinical trials. ZYO1, a drug candidate for treating obesity and related disorders has completed Phase I clinical trials. ZYH7, a drug candidate for treating dyslipidemia and metabolic disorders and ZYT1, a drug candidate for treating dyslipidemia are in Phase 1 clinical trials.