With revenue gaps looming when Lilly's best selling antipsychotic, Zyprexa, loses market exclusivity in October 2011, and its one-time projected mega-blockbuster Alzheimer's drug, semagacestat, failed in phase III, the company is turning to licensing to fill the hole. See WSJ Health blog report.
Lilly's president of R&D, Jan Lundberg, stated the company is "particularly interested in late-stage opportunities that can be revenue-generating in 2014." No pressure or anything. Lilly has already been busy this year, acquiring Alnara Pharmaceuticals pancreatric-enzyme replacment therapy, and co-promoting Kowa Pharmaceuticals cholestrol drug, Livalo.
Lundberg says Lilly has already examined over 1000 deal opportunties in 2010 but only "a handful" resulted in anything. That would equate to a 0.5% close rate. Lilly is looking to bolster its holdings in cancer, diabetes, and neurological therapies.
Previously this year, Lilly CEO John Lechleiter had been particularly bullish on the Lilly pipeline and indicated they wouldn't be in any large scale buying mode to escape the patent cliff. However, internal programs are still years from getting on the market in most cases and mega-failures like semagacestat (which actually made patients worse) has no doubt caused Plan B to kick in.
Posted by Bruce Lehr September 28th 2010.