Lilly taps Suven for CNS research

Collaboration to broaden preclinical research of CNS molecules

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INDIANAPOLIS—On March 12, Lilly announced a second collaboration agreement with India-based drug firm Suven Life Sciences Ltd. The agreement provides for collaboration on the preclinical research of molecules in the therapeutic area of central nervous system (CNS) disorders.

Suven will be responsible for discovery activities related to the identification and selection of clinical CNS candidates, in close association with Lilly, according to the agreement. The agreement broadens a previous clinical outsourcing arrangement, says Mark Taylor, corporate spokesman for Lilly.

"It's a risk-sharing arrangement," Taylor says. "We're providing clinical candidates in the area of CNS from Lilly's own portfolio. We're adding candidates and extending the trials over a longer time period than the original collaboration. We only have a certain amount of resources we can devote to that. Suven is taking on some of the development risks, and in turn, we're hoping to ultimately develop the molecules as products. It's better to have them being worked on than have them sitting on a shelf."

Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, Suven will receive research funding as well as potential discovery and development milestone payments ranging from $19 to $23 million per candidate. The company is also eligible for potential royalties on net sales of any products that may be successfully commercialized from the collaboration.

"We believe our collaborations with Lilly validate Suven's leadership position in CNS drug discovery," says Venkat Jasti, Suven CEO. "This collaboration leverages Suven's small molecule drug discovery expertise with Lilly's expertise and leadership position in CNS, with the goal of creating innovative products for unmet medical needs."

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