Sector News

Lilly rejigs cancer R&D—and puts Loxo team in charge

December 10, 2019
Life sciences

Eli Lilly is revamping its cancer research unit, combining the oncology team at Lilly Research Laboratories with Loxo Oncology, the biotech it picked up for $8 billion in January—and putting a trio of Loxo execs at the helm.

The new research organization, dubbed Loxo Oncology at Lilly, will be led by Josh Bilenker, M.D., Jacob Van Naarden and Nisha Nanda, Ph.D., who were the biotech’s CEO, chief operating officer and chief development officer, respectively. David Hyman, M.D., who leads the early drug development service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, will join the trio as chief medical officer in January.

The move comes four months after Lilly’s cancer research chief, Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., departed the Big Pharma for greener pastures. To fill the vacuum, the company put Bilenker in charge of its oncology research and early-phase development “in the interim.”

The new unit will take over discovery research, clinical development and regulatory affairs in oncology, handing programs over to Lilly’s Oncology Business Unit as they near U.S. regulatory approval. The oncology business team, headed by Anne White, will pick up clinical development, commercialization and medical affairs support, according to a statement.

It will focus on advancing four programs: RET inhibitor selpercatinib and BTK inhibitor LOXO-305, both developed at Loxo, as well as a KRAS inhibitor and an estrogen receptor degrader developed at Lilly. The unit will look into building its pipeline by acquiring or licensing assets.

“We will focus our efforts on biology insights with the greatest near-term potential for patients. We intend to curate a balanced pipeline of medicines—whether internally or externally discovered—to help even more people with cancer around the world and position Lilly as a premier oncology company,” said Lilly Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., in the statement.

The overhaul means cutting loose some existing programs: “In connection with these changes, development of several early clinical-stage programs will be wound down and terminated,” Lilly said in the statement. The company will disclose more about these cuts in its fourth-quarter earnings call Jan. 30.

By Amirah Al Idrus

Source: Fierce Biotech

comments closed

Related News

November 27, 2022

DSM-Firmenich nutrition and beauty mega-merger edges closer as companies announce Exchange Offer

Life sciences

The new company will have four complementary businesses: Perfumery & Beauty, Food & Beverage/Taste & Beyond, Health, Nutrition & Care and Animal Nutrition & Health, each with strong market positions and expertise to address emerging consumer trends. The businesses will also prioritize environmental sustainability, health and well-being.

November 27, 2022

Merck agrees to acquire Imago for $1.35bn

Life sciences

Merck (MSD) has signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition of all outstanding shares of Imago BioSciences for a total equity price of nearly $1.35bn. A clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm, Imago focuses on the development of new therapies to treat myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) and other bone marrow ailments.

November 27, 2022

Novo Nordisk expands API capacity

Life sciences

Danish pharma Novo Nordisk has announced plans to invest 5.4 billion Danish kroner to expand its existing facilities in Bagsværd. The project will establish extra R&D capacity for manufacturing APIs to supply the company’s global clinical trials for oral and injectable products. The expansion is expected to be finished in 2024, creating about 160 new jobs.