Drug Discovery JV may lose Eli Lily’s stakes by Jubilant Life

Vanthys Pharmaceuticals (#Pharma) and Jubilant Life Science seem to be taking steps towards calling off their partnership. Jubilant Life Sciences might buy back Eli Lilly & Company's stake from the former ending their collaboration. The two dozen-odd employees will be absorbed by Jubilant from its drug discovery partner.

Bangalore based Vanthys Pharmaceuticals was formed in 2008 as a 50:50 JV between the two to develop molecules from the pre-clinical to phase II stage across oncology, diabetes and cardiovascular segments.

When their joint venture started, both the firms had said they would together invest $8Mn in the Bangalore-based firm over the next three years.

Initially, Jubilant Life Sciences and Eli Lilly had begun work on about a dozen molecules, transferred from their respective research portfolio into the JV. The two companies will retain intellectual property of their respective molecules.

This could be the second R&D deal with Indian firms Eli Lilly will abandon. Earlier in the month, Zydus Cadilla announced that it could end its joint drug discovery alliance with Eli Lilly.

Both the companies entered into the drug discovery alliance in March 2009. It is believed that Zydus Cadila and Eli Lilly are faced with issues concerning differences in strategy and rising costs of research. Zydus Cadila was entitled for a payment of about $300m depending on the achievement of significant milestones, under the collaboration.

Es Lilly, which recently entered into collaboration with Lupin Ltd to market its insulin products in India also announced that is is looking for partnerships with more Indian companies on both commercial and R&D fronts.

Apart from Jubilant, the company has had partnerships with Piramal, Suven Life Sciences and Glenmark Pharma.

Koteppa Pari, Head Discovery Analytical, Piramal Healthcare, India, will be presenting at Drug Discovery World Asia 2012 this March on "Formulating lead validation strategies to explore the key factor for future success in target validation: An NMR based approach".

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