Schrodinger, a computational technology-based company out of New York, recently announced its collaboration with Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, a partnership that can generate up to $425 million for the former. The small molecule deal was announced on Schrodinger’s Platform day during the presence of investors.
Under the deal, Schrodinger will have to develop and optimize the use of small molecules against an undisclosed target. The commercialization, preclinical and clinical development of the discovery however will be Eli Lilly’s responsibility, the company will also be involved in the early development processes including when work will be done on animal models.
According to Karen Akinsanya, president of therapeutics R&D, “Both companies have similar target areas in mind going into this partnership.”
While the upfront payment to Schrodinger has not been revealed, under the contract it was decided that the $425 million promised will be distributed as milestone payments for each development and discovery. Apart from the $425 million, Schrodinger is entitled to possible low double-digit royalties on any commercialized asset.
Just this year, Schrodinger received FDA Investigational New Drug Application approval for its MALT1 inhibitor and by the end of this year, the company plans to launch a Phase 1 trial in patients with refractory B-cell lymphoma.
Currently, the company has over 10 active collaborations it is working on as well as around 20 proprietary projects. Over the past decade or so, Schrodinger has amassed a long list of partners including Sanofi, Agios, Morphic Therapeutics, and Nimbus Therapeutics.
In Its partnership with Nimbus, Schrodinger is working to develop a potential best-in-class acetyl-CoA carboxylase inhibitor that can be used as a treatment for compensated cirrhosis. The companies are working together on a TYK2 inhibitor to treat psoriasis.
Schrodinger though isn’t Nimbus’s only partner, Elli Lilly has also partnered with Nimbus Therapeutics, a Masschesuts-based firm to come up with new therapies to treat metabolic diseases, the new therapies will work on a specific form of isoform of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that will be activated in the body with the help of the treatment.
This therapy will be developed by using structure-based drug design and a computational drug discovery engine and Lilly will have global license rights for any activator molecules that Nimbus discovers. The funding payment and milestone fees are approximated to be around $496 million and on top of this, Nimbus will also receive royalties on net global sales.
Nimbus Chief Scientific Officer Peter Tummino has commented on the collaboration by saying that Lilly’s experience with metabolic diseases and related disorders will be beneficial to the partnership and Ruth Gimeno, Lilly’s SVP of clinical investigation shared his thoughts about the project by stating that this partnership is part of Big Pharma’s more significant focus on expanding treatment plans available for patients suffering from metabolic disorders. AMPK is just the first step.
Apart from its recent dealings with Eli Lilly, Nimbus has also rounded up $125 million in funds that will be utilized in the company’s clinical inflammatory and autoimmune disorder programs. Pfizer Ventures are among the private financers for this project.