Evox Therapeutics has signed a collaboration deal with Eli Lilly centred on brain/CNS disorders, which could net the latter around $1.2 billion in development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments.
The deal is a multi-target collaboration focused on developing and delivering RNA interference (RNAi) and antisense oligonucleotide drug payloads for the potential treatment of neurological disorders.
During the research collaboration and five-target license agreement, Evox is responsible for exosome engineering in order to achieve brain/CNS-targeting, drug loading and analytics and some in vitro assay development, as well as material supply for initial in vivo studies.
Any resulting candidate handover and technology transfer to Lilly will occur after preclinical proof of concept studies have been completed.
In return, Evox will receive a $20 million cash up-front payment, research funding over three years, and a $10 million investment from Lilly in exchange for a convertible bond from the company.
The Oxford, UK-headquartered group will also be eligible for potential preclinical and clinical development, regulatory and commercial milestones of up to around $1.2 billion, as well as tiered royalties up to low double digits on net sales of products arising from the collaboration.
“This agreement with Lilly allows us to explore both the potential of our platform to deliver oligonucleotide payloads, a class of drugs of increasing importance, and the suitability of our exosome technology for CNS targeting,” said Dr Antonin de Fougerolles, Evox’ chief executive.