Millennium Pharmaceuticals Inc., which filed for an initial publicoffering (IPO) last month, expanded its 1995 genomics collaborationwith Eli Lilly and Co. for atherosclerosis to include discovery ofcancer genes and additional payments of $30 million over five years.
An October 1995 deal with Lilly, of Indianapolis, involved an equityinvestment, licensing fees and committed research funds foridentifying genes related to atherosclerosis, which leads to hardeningof the arteries. The $40 million package over five years gave Lillyless than a 10 percent interest in Millennium. (See BioWorld Today,Oct. 25, 1995, p. 1.)
In the expanded agreement, Millennium, of Cambridge, Mass., willbe paid licensing fees and research funds totaling about $30 million.
Together the two Lilly research collaborations will be worth nearly$70 million plus milestone payments and product royalties.
Although the new agreement does not include an equity investmentby Lilly, the pharmaceutical firm said it intends to invest $3.5 millionin Millennium's IPO, which has not yet become effective.
Millennium registered in March 1996 for an initial offering of fourmillion shares at a projected price of at least $10 per share for grossproceeds of $40 million. Underwriters are Goldman, Sachs & Co., ofNew York, and Robertson, Stephens & Co., of San Francisco. (SeeBioWorld Today, March 21, 1996, p. 1.)
As in the collaboration on atherosclerosis, Lilly will have rights todevelop and market small molecule drugs and therapeutic proteinsemerging from the cancer gene discoveries. The two companies willwork together and commercialize gene therapy products andMillennium will retain rights to antisense drugs and diagnostics.
The types of cancer targeted in the agreement were not disclosed. Butin its IPO prospectus, Millennium said its research has identifiedgenes that may be linked to prostate and colon cancers and metastaticmelanoma.
In its work on atherosclerosis, Millennium is focusing on about sixgenes that may be implicated in the disease. In the degenerativedisorder, plaques containing cholesterol and fatty materials build upand eventually clog arteries.
Millennium, formed three years ago, also has gene discoveryalliances with Roche Holdings Ltd., of Basel, Switzerland, forobesity and Type II diabetes and Astra AB, of Sodertlje, Sweden,for inflammatory disorders of the respiratory system.
Roche, which in October 1995 owned less than a 15 percent stake inMillennium, said it plans to purchase $2 million worth of stock in thegenomics company's IPO. n
-- Charles Craig
(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.