(Reuters) – U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co and AC Immune SA have agreed to jointly develop the Swiss biotech’s potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.
AC Immune already has such partnerships with Johnson & Johnson and Roche Holding AG.
There is a desperate need for a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Several drugmakers, including Pfizer Inc and Merck and Co Inc, have been forced to abandon their trials after dozens of failures of experimental drugs.
An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, and this number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.
AC Immune will conduct the early-stage development of the treatment, ACI-3024, while Lilly will fund and conduct further clinical development, the two companies said in a statement.
AC Immune will receive an upfront payment of 80 million Swiss francs ($80.5 million) and $50 million in exchange for a note convertible to equity at a premium.
AC Immune will also get 60 million Swiss francs in near-term development milestone payments and other potential payments of up to 1.7 billion Swiss francs.
Reporting by Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel