Lilly To Acquire Dermira for $1.1 Billion

Edward Kim  |

Dermira shareholders received an early gift ahead of next week's annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference, as Eli Lilly announced a definitive agreement to acquire the biopharmaceutical company for $18.75 per share, or approximately $1.1 billion, in an all-cash transaction.

Dermira is biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing new therapies for chronic skin conditions. The acquisition will expand Lilly's immunology pipeline with the addition of lebrikizumab, a Phase 3 asset in development for the treatment of moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in adolescent and adult patients, ages 12 years and older. 10 million people in the US are afflicted with atopic dermatitis, the most common and severe form of eczema, a chronic inflammatory condition that can present as early as childhood and continue into adulthood.

Lebrikizumab is a novel monoclonal antibody designed to bind IL-13 with high affinity. IL-13 is believed to be a central pathogenic mediator that drives multiple aspects of the pathophysiology of atopic dermatitis by promoting type 2 inflammation and mediating its effects on tissue, resulting in skin barrier dysfunction, itch, skin thickening and infection. The FDA granted Lebrikizumab with Fast Track designation in December 2019.

The FDA's Fast Track program is intended to facilitate the drug development process and expedite the review of therapies to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need, including by demonstrating an advantage over currently available therapy. The goal of the Fast Track process is to ensure important new treatments reach patients as quickly as possible.

Dermira currently markets QBREXZA (glycopyrronium) cloth, a medicated cloth approved by the FDA for the topical treatment of primary axillary hyperhidrosis, or uncontrolled excessive underarm sweating.

People suffering from moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis have significant unmet treatment needs, and we are excited about the potential that lebrikizumab has to help these patients. 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.

- Patrik Jonsson, Senior VP, Lilly, and President, Lilly Bio-Medicines.

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.- Tom Wiggans, Chairman and CEO, Dermira.

Mr. Wiggans was a co-founder of Dermira in 2010, guiding the company through its IPO in 2014, at which time the company was valued at just $317 million. We like this transaction for both companies. It appears to be a good deal for Dermira and its shareholders, and lebrikizumab adds meaningful potential to Lilly's immunology pipeline.

Edward Kim is Managing Editor of Equities.com.

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Source: Equities News

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