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Eli Lilly to pay AC Immune CHF80M upfront in Alzheimer's drug collaboration deal

Eli Lilly and Co. agreed with AC Immune SA to research and develop a new type of treatment for Alzheimer's disease and other degenerative disorders of the nervous system.

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Under the license and collaboration agreement, Switzerland's AC Immune will receive an up-front payment of CHF80 million from Eli Lilly. AC Immune will be eligible to receive CHF60 million in near-term milestone payments and up to about CHF1.7 billion if long-term development, regulatory and commercial targets are met. Eli Lilly will also purchase a $50 million note convertible to equity in AC Immune.

ACI-3024, AC Immune's lead molecule, will be the primary focus of this collaboration. The experimental treatment was developed with the Swiss drugmaker's proprietary Morphomer technology, which consists of several chemical series of small molecules called tau aggregation inhibitors, which help in reducing inflammation of nervous tissues — a key symptom of Alzheimer's disease.

AC Immune will carry out the phase 1 development of ACI-3024 and any other Morphomer-based tau aggregation inhibitors. Eli Lilly will carry out further clinical development in exchange for worldwide commercialization rights for the drugs for Alzheimer's disease. AC Immune will hold onto development rights for certain other therapeutic uses.

According to Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly, this transaction will not change its EPS for 2018. The license and collaboration agreement is subject to regulatory clearances and closing conditions.