Lilly to acquire gene therapy specialist, Prevail Therapeutics, in a deal worth US$1.04bn

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Zhanna Hapanovich
© GettyImages/Zhanna Hapanovich

Related tags: Gene therapy, Parkinson's disease, Dementia, neurodegenerative diseases

US pharma giant, Eli Lilly and Co, announced today that it would buy Prevail Therapeutics Inc in a deal valued at US$1.04bn.

The Indianapolis headquartered company said the acquisition will establish a gene therapy program at Lilly, anchored by Prevail's portfolio of neuroscience assets, and will broaden Lilly's commitment to use novel modalities to attempt to address otherwise fatal genetic forms of neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia.

Lilly said it would acquire Prevail for $22.50 per share. The deal also includes a "contingent value right"​ worth US$4 per share in cash, payable upon the first regulatory approval of a product from Prevail's pipeline.

Prevail’s goal is to develop and commercialize disease-modifying AAV-based gene therapies for patients with neurodegenerative diseases. Its lead gene therapies in clinical development are PR001 for patients with Parkinson's disease with GBA1 mutations (PD-GBA) and neuronopathic Gaucher disease (nGD) and PR006 for patients with frontotemporal dementia with GRN mutations (FTD-GRN).

The company’s preclinical pipeline includes PR004 for patients with specific synucleinopathies, as well as potential gene therapies for Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and other neurodegenerative disorders.

Advancing groundbreaking work

"Gene therapy is a promising approach with the potential to deliver transformative treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Gaucher and dementia,"​ said Mark Mintun, VP of pain and neurodegeneration research at Lilly. "The acquisition of Prevail will bring critical technology and highly skilled teams to complement our existing expertise at Lilly, as we build a new gene therapy program anchored by well-researched assets. We look forward to completing the proposed acquisition and working with Prevail to advance their groundbreaking work through clinical development."

Prevail was founded by Dr Asa Abeliovich in 2017, through a collaborative effort with the Silverstein Foundation for Parkinson's with GBA, and OrbiMed, and is headquartered in New York.

Several of its therapies have been granted fast track and orphan drug tags by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Commission.

CEO, Dr Abeliovich, remarked that, in just over three years, the innovator has advanced two first-in-class gene therapy programs into clinical development for PD-GBA, nGD, and FTD-GRN, established two manufacturing platforms, and developed a broad pipeline with great potential to impact patients in need of disease-modifying treatment options. 

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