MaRS tenant signs deal with Lilly

Once again, MaRS tenant Transition Therapeutics is making headlines with good news.

On March 13, Transition announced a licensing and collaboration pact with Eli Lilly and Co. where Lilly will acquire exclusive worldwide rights to its gastrin-based therapies program for the treatment of diabetes. This includes the lead compound TT-223, which is currently in early Phase II study testing by Transition.

Gastrin-based therapies are an emerging class of potential diabetes therapies, having shown to provide sustained improvement in glycemic control to help avoid symptoms and complications of diabetes.

Under the terms of the deal, Transition will receive a $7 million upfront payment and may also receive up to $130 million in potential development and sales milestones, as well as royalties on sales of gastrin-based therapies if any product is successfully commercialized.

Both companies will participate in the planned Phase II clinical trial for type 2 diabetes. Lilly will then be responsible for later R&D and sales of all gastrin-based therapeutic products worldwide. Other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

This announcement comes months after Transition Therapeutics met the stringent criteria to be listed on NASDAQ, unfortunately a rare occurrence in Canadian biotech. However, as this big pharma deal for Transition Therapeutics again confirms, while the home runs are still few and far between, our biotech companies are more than capable of playing in the big league.

Go team!