Lilly will expanding its portfolio of Phase 3 medicines with the addition of lebrikizumabfor for atopic dermatitis and QBREXZA for primary axillary hyperhidrosis


Eli Lilly has signed agreements to acquire Dermira for $1.1bn in cash. (Credit: Darko Stojanovic/Pixabay.)

Eli Lilly and Company (Lilly) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire all outstanding shares of Dermira, a biopharmaceutical company focused on medical dermatology, at a purchase price of $18.75 per share, for approximately $1.1bn in cash.

The transaction is expected to be wrapped up, subject to customary closing conditions, including required regulatory approvals and the tender of a majority of the outstanding shares of Dermira’s common stock, by the end of the first quarter of 2020.

Lilly senior vice president and Lilly Bio-Medicines president Patrik Jonsson said: “The acquisition of Dermira is consistent with Lilly’s strategy to augment our own internal research by acquiring clinical phase assets in our core therapeutic areas and leveraging our development expertise and commercial infrastructure to bring new medicines to patients.

“This acquisition provides an opportunity to add a promising Phase 3 immunology compound for atopic dermatitis, while also adding an approved dermatology treatment for primary axillary hyperhidrosis. We look forward to completing the acquisition and continuing Dermira’s excellent work.”

Lilly will gain lebrikizumab and QBREXZA from Dermira

The transaction is expected to expand Lilly’s immunology pipeline by adding lebrikizumab, an investigational, monoclonal antibody designed for treating atopic dermatitis in adolescents and adults.

Lebrikizumab works by binding to IL-13, to specifically prevent the formation of the IL-13Rα1/IL-4Rα heterodimer complex and inhibit the biological effects of IL-13, a pathogenic mediator.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation for Lebrikizumab in December 2019.

In addition, the transaction will also add QBREXZA (glycopyrronium) cloth, a medicated cloth for the topical treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis (uncontrolled excessive underarm sweating).

The FDA approved QBREXZA is designed to block sweat production by inhibiting sweat gland activation and is applied directly to the skin.

For the acquisition, Evercore served as exclusive financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges served as legal advisor for Lilly, while Citi served as a lead financial advisor, SVB Leerink served as a financial advisor, and Fenwick & West served as legal advisor for Dermira.

Dermira chairman and chief executive officer Tom Wiggans said: “Since Dermira’s inception, we have been focused on applying strong science to medical dermatology with the goal of finding new ways to treat some of the most common skin conditions that affect millions of people every year.

“We are pleased that Lilly has recognized the progress we have made and the opportunities for lebrikizumab and QBREXZA.

“We share with Lilly a common interest in helping patients through the development of innovative treatments and believe that patients and physicians will benefit from the resources that Lilly can bring to maximize the potential of our programs.

“We also believe this proposed transaction is in the best interests of Dermira and our stockholders and affirms the dedication and important groundwork established by Dermira’s talented employees since the founding of the company nearly 10 years ago.”