Eli Lilly and Company and ProQR Therapeutics N.V. announced the expansion of their licensing and collaboration agreement focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new genetic medicines.
The collaboration, originally announced in September 2021, applied ProQR’s proprietary Axiomer® RNA editing platform to target disorders of the liver and nervous system. Through the course of work to date, advances in the platform have significantly increased editing efficiency and refined biodistribution in both the liver and nervous system, opening up new potential applications to not only correct known mutations, but also introduce protective variants in specific transcripts. Through this expanded collaboration, Lilly and ProQR will explore further applications of the Axiomer platform to unlock new innovative treatments for people living with diseases with high unmet medical need.
“Discovering and developing the medicines of tomorrow takes time, sustained innovation and most importantly, collaboration,” said Andrew C. Adams, Ph.D., Lilly senior vice president of genetic medicine and co-director of the Institute for Genetic Medicine. “We have been impressed with the progress to date with our partners at ProQR and have conviction that RNA editing can be an important alternative to other more permanent therapies.”
“Our original collaboration with Lilly, which leverages our Axiomer RNA editing technology platform, continues to progress well and we are pleased to be expanding our partnership to include additional targets, along with an option for Lilly to opt in for more,” said Daniel A. de Boer, founder and CEO of ProQR. “Lilly is a leader in RNA therapeutics, and our expanded partnership is another validation of our leadership in ADAR-mediated RNA editing, our robust IP estate, and the potential of our broadly applicable Axiomer platform technology. We look forward to making an impact on the lives of patients together with Lilly.”
Under the terms of the expanded agreement, Lilly will gain access to additional targets in the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system with ProQR’s Axiomer platform. ProQR will receive $75 million consisting of an upfront payment, as well as an equity investment. Lilly will have the ability to exercise an option to further expand the partnership for a consideration of $50 million. In addition, Lilly can elect to provide ProQR with access to the company’s proprietary delivery technology for its wholly owned pipeline.
Based on its original September 2021 agreement and the expanded agreement announced today with Lilly, in total, ProQR is eligible to receive up to approximately $3.75 billion in research, development and commercialization milestones, as well as tiered royalties of up to mid-single digit percentage on product sales.