Eli Lilly said Wednesday that it entered a collaboration with CureVac potentially worth more than $1.8 billion to develop up to five potential cancer vaccine products based on the latter's RNActive technology. Eli Lilly noted that the companies will use mRNA technology that targets tumour neoantigens for a more robust anti-cancer immune response.
Eli Lilly vice president of oncology research Greg Plowman remarked "we are excited to be collaborating with CureVac to discover what could potentially be the next frontier of cancer medicines."
Under the deal, CureVac will receive an upfront payment of $50 million and an equity investment of 45 million euros ($52.9 million) from Eli Lilly. CureVac is also eligible to receive more than $1.7 billion in development and commercialisation milestones if all five vaccines are successfully developed, plus tiered royalties on product sales.
As part of the collaboration, Eli Lilly will control target identification, clinical development and commercialisation. Meanwhile, CureVac will hold responsibility for mRNA design, formulation and manufacturing of clinical supply, while the company will have an option to co-promote the vaccine products in Germany.
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