Eli Lilly entered a licensing collaboration with French biotech Adocia to develop ultra-rapid insulin, known as BioChaperone Lispro, for the treatment of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Adocia will get $50 million upfront with the potential to receive up to $280 million in development and regulatory milestones, and $240 million in sales milestones and royalties. The U.S. drugmaker will also reimburse Adocia for certain R&D expenses and assume responsibility for future development, manufacturing, and commercialization of BioChaperone Lispro.

The companies will co-develop the therapy, currently in Phase Ib studies, with the goal of optimizing glucose levels during and after meals. Benefits of BioChaperone Lispro could include better flexibility in insulin injection timing, lower variability of post-meal blood glucose elevations, lower rates of hypoglycemia, and overall improved glucose control.

Eli Lilly has had a long-term commitment to developing treatments for diabetes since 1923 when it introduced the first commercial insulin. Currently, the company has two top ranked diabetes drugs—Humalog® and Humulin®—ranked at number 4 and 10, respectively, on GEN’s list of Top 20 Diabetes Drugs

In addition, Eli Lilly announced last year that it was investing more than $700 million to enhance its global insulin manufacturing capacity in Puerto Rico, France, and China, as well as its headquarters in Indianapolis. 

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