November 8, 2011

Corporate divorce between Eli Lilly and Amylin


Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly and Company jointly developed and launched Byetta. Today the announcement was made that the partnership between Amylin and Lilly is being dissolved.

Amylin filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Eli Lilly for partnering with  Boehringer Ingelheim, a company that is developing a GLP1 agonist drug. However in a press release issued by Boehringer Ingelheim in June 2011 it says, “ ZP2929 is not part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s strategic Diabetes alliance with Eli Lilly and Company.” The lady doth protest too much.Of course not! The alliance between Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim is to  to bring new diabetes treatments to patients worldwide. Amylin’s reach only extends to southern California. Why else would Byetta only yield $385.1 million in the first nine months of 2011? I’m being facetious. It’s impressive.

Amylin considers one of the drugs being sold by Boehringer Ingelheim to be a competitor to exenatide. The drug in question is a glucagon/GLP-1 dual agonist drug.  Exnatide is a GLP1 agonist. Apples and oranges, people!

The separation agreement entails:

– Amylin drops breach-of-contract suit against Eli Lilly

– Amylin retains all rights to the drug exenatide

– Amylin will retain a higher share of the profits from selling Byetta

– Amylin will pay Lilly $250 million immediately and 15% of future sales up until Amylin has paid a total of $1.2 billion plus interest.

Although Amylin executives say the separation agreement would be significantly less than what the company currently pays Lilly. Amylin will foot the bills to develop and market the drug on its own.

All’s fair in love and war – and business.