Lilly signs potential $1.1B Radiopharma deal with Aktis Oncology

Eli Lilly and Company

Pictured: Eli Lilly and Company San Diego/iStock, Michael Vi

Aktis Oncology on Tuesday announced a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company to develop targeted anti-cancer radiopharmaceuticals. The Boston-based biotech company will receive $60 million in upfront cash and up to $1.1 billion in additional milestone payments and sales royalties.

Leveraging the biotech’s microprotein technology platform, Eli Lilly will acquire global rights to Aktis’ radiopharmaceutical therapeutics and diagnostic products discovered on “a defined set of targets” selected by the drugmaker.

Aktis’ therapies harness the power of alpha-emitting particles to pinpoint cancer while minimizing treatment side effects across a range of solid tumor cancers. Its leading projects are urothelial cancer and other nectin-4-related cancers.

“This collaboration with Aktis Oncology builds on our growing radiopharmaceutical capabilities and provides an exciting opportunity to create important and differentiated radiopharmaceuticals,” Jacob Van Naarden, president of Lilly Oncology, said in a statement. Innovative Technology.

Eli Lilly and Company also made an undisclosed equity investment in Aktis. The deal builds on previous investments in radiopharmaceutical companies. Eli Lilly acquired Point Biopharma in October 2023 for $1.4 billion.

At the time, Van Naerden said this was “the beginning of our investment in developing multiple meaningful radioligand drugs to treat difficult-to-treat cancers.” The acquisition includes Point’s lead asset, PNT2002, which targets prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and is currently in a Phase III trial in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer whose disease has progressed after hormonal therapy.

The space has been heating up with big pharma deals across the board. Bristol-Myers Squibb acquired RayzeBio in late 2023 for $4.1 billion. AstraZeneca acquired Fusion Pharmaceuticals’ radiopharmaceutical pipeline in March 2024 in a deal valued at approximately $2 billion.

The two radiopharmaceuticals currently approved on the market are products acquired by Novartis – Pluvicto for the treatment of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer and Lutathera for the treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Earlier this month, Novartis announced a $1 billion acquisition of Mariana Oncology, followed by an expanded deal with PeptiDream in April that could be worth more than $2.7 billion.

Kate Goodwin is a freelance life sciences writer based in Des Moines, Iowa. You can contact her at and LinkedIn.

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