Lilly snaps up Alnara

Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, has acquired Alnara Pharmaceuticals, a two-year-old startup with a single drug—an enzyme supplement—currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration. Alnara's lead product, Trizytek (liprotamase), is a nonporcine pancreatic enzyme therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis and other conditions in which the pancreas fails to produce enough enzymes needed to digest and absorb food. With the new deal, Lilly will gain a foothold in the enzyme replacement market, whereas the Cambridge, Massachusetts–based Alnara will benefit from the larger company's experience in the US, particularly in regulatory affairs, to help steer Trizytek into the clinic. “The deal sits with Lilly's new strategy of looking for niche markets where there are low levels of competition and less likelihood of pricing pressure,” observes William Kridel, managing director of specialist investment banking group Ferghana Partners in New York. Kridel adds that Lilly may go on to do other such specialty deals. Trizytek contains protease, amylase and lipase enzymes made by microbial processes, and will be offered as an alternative to existing products made with pig enzymes. Alnara hopes to have the product on the market late this year. Trizytek once belonged to Altus Pharmaceutics, which folded following the recent economic downturn. Altus transferred rights to liprotamase to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, which were then repurchased by Alnara. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Aldridge, S. Lilly snaps up Alnara. Nat Biotechnol 28, 882 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt0910-882b

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