The acquisition will help Lilly establish a gene therapy programme, backed by Prevail's portfolio of neuroscience assets


Eli Lilly and Company's Corporate Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, US. (Credit: Momoneymoproblemz/Wikipedia.)

Eli Lilly and Co. (Lilly) has reached a definitive agreement to acquire Prevail Therapeutics, a developer of gene therapies using precision medicine technology, for a total consideration of $1.04bn.

Under the terms of the transaction, Lilly will place a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Prevail at a price of $22.50 per share in cash—around $880m.

Also, Prevail stockholders will receive a non-tradable contingent value right (CVR), valuing an aggregate of nearly $160m, upon receiving the first regulatory approval for a product from the company’s pipeline, before 31 December, 2024.

Lilly pain and neurodegeneration research vice-president Mark Mintun said: “Gene therapy is a promising approach with the potential to deliver transformative treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Gaucher and dementia.

“The acquisition of Prevail will bring critical technology and highly skilled teams to complement our existing expertise at Lilly, as we build a new gene therapy programme anchored by well-researched assets.

“We look forward to completing the proposed acquisition and working with Prevail to advance their ground-breaking work through clinical development.”

Prevail portfolio will help Lilly establish new drug discovery and development programme

Established in 2017, Prevail Therapeutics is a biotechnology company developing potentially disease-modifying AAV9-based gene therapies for the treatment of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.

The acquisition is expected to enable Lilly to establish a new modality for drug discovery and development, and create a gene therapy programme with support from Prevail’s portfolio of clinical-stage and preclinical neuroscience assets.

Prevail’s clinical development pipeline includes PR001 for GBA1 mutation-positive Parkinson’s disease and neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD), and PR006 for GRN mutation-positive frontotemporal dementia.

The preclinical pipeline comprises PR004 for patients with specific synucleinopathies, along with potential gene therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other neurodegenerative disorders.

For the transaction, Lazard served as sole financial advisor and Weil, Gotshal & Manges is as legal counsel to Lilly, while Centerview Partners served as sole financial advisor, and Ropes & Gray as legal counsel, and Cooley as legal counsel to Prevail.

Prevail founder and CEO Asa Abeliovich said: “Lilly is an established leader in neuroscience drug development and commercialisation who shares our commitment to patients with neurodegenerative diseases, and I’m excited for Prevail to join the Lilly family.

“I’m incredibly proud of the Prevail team, who have made great progress advancing our pipeline of gene therapy programmes for patients with these devastating disorders.”

“With its global scale and resources, Lilly will be the ideal organisation to maximise the potential of our pipeline and accelerate our ability to bring these therapies to as many patients as possible. We look forward to working together to advance our shared mission.”